MUBI had a Claude Sautet retrospective, and I watched four of his movies, however, I didn’t like the others as much as this one. “Bad Son” is a very solid subtle drama about inner struggle and substance abuse. Really good takes on the impenetrable society structures and the subdued marginalization that happens all over.
Bruno Calgani returns to Paris after a stint in the American prison for selling drugs (to Columbia students, no less). His mother had died while he was incarcerated, his father is resentful, and finding a job is not an easy task. The drama unfolds quietly, and sears brutally.
Patrick Dewaere, who plays Bruno, is remarkable. What a loss that he died young. I also adored the character of Dussart (played by Jacques Dufilho), a middle-aged gay proprietor of a book shop who struggles with his own problems while trying to be an ersatz-father to his employee. His monologue towards the end of the film was exceptional, such a deserved Cesar win for suppporting role.
A Bad Son (Un Mauvais Fils), 1980
Director: Claude Sautet