Experimental cinema can be a double-edged sword, capable of delivering either greatness or pretension in equal measure. However, Peacock’s upcoming thriller My Son has an intriguing hook, where one person involved in the production didn’t have a clue what was going on.
Christian Carion co-wrote and directed the remake of his own 2017 French film, which follows a man who visits his ex-wife to try and get answers about their son’s disappearance. The Crown‘s Golden Globe winner Claire Foy plays the female lead, but the main selling point is that James McAvoy wasn’t given a script or any dialogue ahead of the shoot.
Instead, the actor’s performance is entirely improvised and based on his interactions with Foy in the moment, meaning that he’s learning new information about the plot at exactly the same time as the audience. Not a lot of people would have the stones to even attempt this sort of part never mind pull it off, but McAvoy has been gaining strong notices for a turn he pulled out of his ass when the director called action.
The cast and crew were fully aware of the story developments and where things were headed, but the star of the movie wasn’t, and thanks to the strength of McAvoy’s work, the reviews have indicated that it’s much more than a gimmick. It’s certain to be a fascinating thing to watch unfold, and My Son is coming to Peacock on September 15th for audiences to find out.