A young man who lives with his mother and has never known his father, heads off to look for him. He finds a cynical and Machiavellian man who works as a publisher in Paris. After he attempts to kill him, he finds filial love thanks to his uncle.
No one behaves quite like a human being in Eugene Green’s “Le Fils de Joseph,” yet a soulful sense of humanity emerges from their heightened declamations anyway. Though it’s still steeped in its maker’s very particular formalities of language and performance, this honey-drizzled, farcically funny fable of an unhappy teenager seeking a father — first the one he has, then the one he deserves — could prove to be Green’s most commercially accessible work, even among arthouse auds not necessarily attuned to its millefeuille layering of theological symbolism. (Its mirthful contemporary remix of the Nativity story, however, surely can’t escape anyone’s notice.) Green makes films for anyone willing to enter his peculiar universe of expressive purity and (mostly) suspended cynicism, to which “Joseph” reps one of his most beguiling invitations.