Sunday, 22 August 2010


Palace Films
Now Showing

There is a twist in The Father of My Children that should not be revealed prior to seeing it but which changes the direction of the story dramatically. It’s not a twist in the Shutter Island, Inception et al of cinematic twists 2010 but it’s one that takes you away from the film you thought you were watching and leads you into another one entirely.

That director Mia Hanson-Løve, in her late 20s and making just her third feature, would attempt such a bold move, as well as dealing with such mature and complex emotional terrain in the process, is testament to her own confidence and maturity.

Without giving too much away, the basic story concerns film producer Gregoire (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing), who has a catalogue of critically acclaimed if not financially successful films and has several projects on the go; one is a Korean production to be shot in Paris, the other a location shoot in Sweden with a notoriously difficult Scandinavian auteur. But like any business in the current economic climate, the banks are knocking on the door.

Gregoire also has a wife and three daughters who adore him very much and vice versa. We witness them in their home life and on a weekend away, doing the normal things that normal families do. But then that twist occurs and the focus of the film shifts.

For some, The Father of My Children may appear as one of those films where nothing seems to be happening. Of course, a lot is happening and not all of it on the surface; Hansen-Løve isn’t necessarily concerned with plot so much as people and life. For some it may prove elusive, even frustrating, while for others it will break hearts. It’s a film that requires patience and rewards those who are.

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