Owen Gleiberman
June 16, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Father and Son

Current Status
In Season
Denize Lauture

We gave it a C-

In 1996, the Russian director Alexander Sokurov made Mother and Son, a painterly, nearly wordless swoon of a movie in which a man ushered his mother into death. It had a trancelike tedium that was just austere enough to win the praise of Susan Sontag, yet its images have never left me. ”Father and Son,” Sokurov’s new companion piece, has the tedium without the trance. The father (Andrey Schetinin), a former soldier, is still in mourning over his wife’s death. His son (Aleksey Neymyshev) craves something…but what? ”A father’s love crucifies,” observes the younger man, but there is scarcely the energy in the film to mount a crucifixion, emotional or otherwise.

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