Father of My Children (2010)

| 23 August , 2010 | Reply

Keeva Stratton, Quip Creative

Directed by: Mia Hansen-Love
Starring: Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Chiara Caselli

There are people whose artistic passions lead them on endeavors that stray from their own economic realities, and in doing so, they risk their loves and indeed their lives (and that of those around them) in the name of their passion. Father of My Children is one such story, and it follows the life of film producer Gregoire Canvel as he desperately strives to balance the demands of an all encompassing career with that of his family. Unable to navigate the tide of his pursuits, Canvel soon finds himself way out of his financial depths and facing bankruptcy. His denial of the situation allows it to worsen, and soon his inaction threatens to bring his company, and all that work for him, to a state of ruin.

His wife Sylvia is also reaching an emotional plateau – she\’s tired of sharing her husband with a job that is relentless and intrusive on their family time. While she respects his talent and dutifully assumes the key role in raising their three children, she cannot help but be a hapless bystander as her family\’s financial security and emotional stability is increasingly put at risk in his pursuit to bring struggling films to life.

This is an inspired tale, loosely in homage to the filmmaker\’s (Mia Hansen-Love) encounters with real-life film producer Humbert Balsan, whose own story tragically ended in suicide. It\’s about exploring passionate devotion in both its positive and negative forms, and looking at the profound consequences of falling too deeply into the clasp of obsession. This is also a film about personal strength and resilience, and, far from the romanticised depiction of art for love\’s sake, this film presents a gritty reality of when a love of art takes over reason.

The film has some deep philosophical undercurrents, and explores, through its characters, various perspectives for dealing with severe emotional challenges. While I feel that it is at times a little uneven, it provides an intelligent look into the extremes of human nature and is without doubt a moving piece, largely due to the strong female performances.

Having won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes, you can be assured of a quality film making experience. Bring some tissues.

Father of My Children is in limited release from August 26.


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Category: Film & TV

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