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August 11, 2008 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

“And When Did You Last See Your Father?”

Directed by Anand Tucker

This movie follows the relationship between Doctor Arthur Morrison and his son Blake over a period of thirty years as the father slowly dies of cancer. With a mix of present day scenes and flashbacks of Blake as an adolescent we follow a son’s attempts to reconcile his troubled relationship with his father.

As the film progresses we are taken through Blake’s life growing up with a father who is flamboyant, talkative, invasively embarrassing, having an affair with his wife’s sister and who makes little effort to understand his son whom he continually puts down for his choice to become a writer rather than a doctor. The flashbacks are well done and very well acted, giving us a great view into how the eyes viewing Arthur change over time.

Director Anand Tucker manages to weave humour and lighthearted scenes into the film. In one scene Blake and his father go on a disastrous camping trip where they wake up in the morning to find their sleeping bags sitting in a foot of muddy water. Note to self: never go camping in England, unless it’s Glastonbury. This is followed by a driving lesson on the beach making donuts in the sand.

Making its appearance at this year’s Film Festival, the movie is based on a book and includes many well-known English actors. The movie was kind of out of left field for some of them. It’s not big. Nothing exciting or action-packed really happens. Nobody explodes or drives off a cliff. The idea itself may not be that new, especially after Tim Burtons’ Big Fish. But in spite of all this the film works by focusing on sensitivity and emotion and the troubles people have with forming a complete view of another person, even someone as key to you as your own father. An incredibly profound idea. The film is full of mirror shots, funky angles where a character has a 3-4 minute conversation with another and their face cannot be seen. My favourite was the scene at the end where Colin Firth stands in the driveway after his father’s funeral and finally realizes what the title of the film is trying to convey.

As the wet and cold weather seems destined to continue I would definitely suggest you check out this film.


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