Another Cannes selection, like Blue Ruin, all the good stuff seems to come out of there these days. This is a very Japanese story: a patriarchal, conformist, conservative businessman butts up against a system failure that he never could have anticipated. Two babies were switched at birth, and now these two affected families have to reconcile genetics vs. upbringing.
This is a unique situation, and it is perfectly explored in the contexts of class dstinctions, family values and work ethics. The two families couldn’t be more different, and yet their sons have bridged the worlds seamlessly. Well, almost seamlessly, and that’s the point.
News doesn’t arrive until the boys have lived five years in the wrong households. With five years of love and caring suddenly called into question, the value of genetic bonds is presented. Also relevant is the idea of parental expectation, and disappointment from generation to generation. So many threads pull at the boys, their fathers and at the families they have come to accept as their own that the idea of switching them back, because of this genetic issue, seems absurd.
Like Father Like Son is a subtle, thoughtful drama with big questions about family at the center.