AT THE MOVIE THEATER. “Sons of Philadelphia”, a film of rare power in the midst of the mafia

Matthias Schoenaerts gives free rein to his natural charisma in this film. (©DR)

Philadelphia, end of the last century. Aging mafias are still trying to gain ground for their different traffics. Italians, Americans and Irish are on the move, desperately clinging to their last signs of power.

Save a mafia cousin

Two quadras, Peter and Michael, although only cousins, do not leave each other despite their differences. A real brotherhood of thugs. Peter is silent, taciturn, a veritable mirrored cupboard, he watches with a critical eye the actions of Michael who, for his part, is nothing but hatred and violence. Here is that in the negotiations between mafiosi, Michael becomes “embarrassing”. While a bloody war is emerging, Peter will do everything to save this beloved cousin despite everything, especially since it is the latter’s parents who raised him following the tragic and mysterious disappearance of Peter’s father. .

But as all the arguments are good for exploding this “siblings”, one of them brings up a very, but really very dark family story. Peter, ultimately peaceful gangster, will he resist his desire for revenge? That’s the whole story of this film.

In the infamous neighborhoods of Philadelphia

Few spectacular settings but rather the less famous neighborhoods of Philadelphia. The panorama is planted, tragedy can find its climax. If this black thriller as ink is not of the flashy style, it remains nonetheless of a rare power thanks not only to a sharp realization but also to a cast which sees two personalities, two actors confronting each other. exceptional.

Evil in its raw state

It is so with Matthias Schoenaerts, Peter in the grip of the darkest forebodings, these being distilled to us by disturbing flashbacks. A rare talented actor, Matthias Schoenaerts here gives free rein to his natural charisma through looks as heavy as storm clouds. Facing him, Joel Kinnaman does not yield to him in any other register. Toxic down to the smallest words and gestures, he embodies Evil in its raw state (the scene of the dead horse is blood-curdling!).

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The adaptation of a novel

This adaptation of the novel by Peter Dexter, published in France under the title “Un amour fraternel”, is a real success and confirms, for its second feature, a director of great subtlety of tone, namely Jérémie Guez. To be continued, his next film: “Kannun”, whose scenario should not stray too far from the theme of the happy family of the Atrides…

Matthias Schoenaerts: soon in the footsteps of … Jesus!

From the age of 8, young Matthias climbs onto the boards with his father. After the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, head for the small screen, then short films. The long ones will not take long to shake up his schedule, more particularly in the violent roles. Carrure obliges! Two films will reveal him internationally: Bullhead and De rouille et d’os, this last film will earn him a César for best male newcomer in 2013. He was then 36 years old. The sequel, we all know it, more than 40 films and two appearances in front of the camera of the rare Terrence Malick for A hidden life and, to come as unexpected as expected, The Way of the Wind, in which Matthias Schoenaerts will put himself in the clothes of … the Apostle Peter, for a Life of Jesus that should come out soon.

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Robert Pénavayre

« Sons of Philadelphia ».
Director: Jérémie Guez.
With: Matthias Schoenaerts, Joel Kinnaman…
Duration: 1h30.
Genre: thriller, drama

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