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A Pulitzer-winning writer grapples with being a widower and father after a mental breakdown, while, 27 years later, his grown daughter struggles to forge connections of her own.
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Fathers and Daughters movie full length review - Slow and subtle yes but an emotions driven drama that impresses
I was surprised to find this film as I'd never heard of it before and even more surprised that IMDb critics were so hard on it.
It's actually a very real, hard hitting, emotional drama about a father and daughter about how the father's emotional turmoil effect his daughter. It's coming of age and it's circle of life and it can be dissected in many ways and leave questions in your mind but it's also simple and straight forward. The performances are strong and often heart wrenching but the film is subtle in the way that it is short and paced. I didn't find it boring at all, quite the contrary I found it fascinating and yet you are left struggling to understand what happens between the childhood of this little girl and the emotionally disturbed woman she becomes. I think it may be more powerful to some people than others if they find some sort of connection to themselves in it whether it be an emotional problem or a similarity to a character in the film. The film lives and breathes morals about mental illness and for that I give it kudos and the cast did a terrific job.
Russell Crowe takes a lot of flack from the reviewers for being washed up but I don't understand it because I think he's brilliant in this film. He gives a more emotional performance than I've seen from him in a very long time. The scenes of him suffering from his condition are completely heart wrenching. I am not a fan of Amanda Seyfriend, just something about her lacks to impress me but this was hands down the best performance I've ever seen from her. It's outside of the normal role for her and she nails it. As far as I'm concerned this is an award worthy performance from her. I could say the same for Aaron Paul who plays her love interest. We already know he is great from his time on Breaking Bad but this is the first time I've really seen it again since being on that show. He is magnificent in this part and really steals the scenes he is in. Kylie Rogers is also fantastic as the young daughter and her and Crowe definitely have great chemistry together which is important the entire dynamic of the film. Crowe's gradual disconnect and the deterioration of his mental health is fascinating.
Director Gabriele Muccino is not a new director so he has that in his corner and he has some big dramas under his belt such as Seven Pounds, The Pursuit of Happiness and the lacklustre Playing For Keeps. As far as I'm concerned this is his best film yet. He's always trying to tap into something deep within us and this film does that. It's multi-layered and really digs deep with these characters. The film would actually be interesting as a play given it has a small cast and is really character driven. Also watch for Jane Fonda in a small cameo as well. I really enjoyed this and I recommend anyone in the mood for a solid intelligent drama to check it out! 7.5/10