The Father of My Children (Le père de mes enfants, Germany-France)

Patriarchal failure

This interesting film (hmm – damning with faint praise) meanders along until a shocking moment and then meanders to the end; a bit like life really (though shocking moments might be optional). It’s an interesting mix of realism and melodrama; realism because narrative strands are left dangling without resolution, melodrama because it deals with family relationships and has a striking use of music – see Roy on this.

The portrayal of a struggling indie-arthouse film production company is fascinating to watch as the clash between economics and art is laid bare. The difficult director who’s hemorrhaging money in Sweden is infuriating because he causes the production company so many problems; it could be that he also makes brilliant movies.

Spoiler alert: the film’s based on the suicide of a film producer and I couldn’t help feeling ‘what a bastard’ to leave his children behind, not to mention his long-suffering wife who threatens to leave him as she hardly ever sees him. The performances are marvelous, particularly the young children although I found some of their dialogue a little precocious; maybe French bourgeois kids are like that.

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