Daily News header

When Did You Last See Your Father? DVD Review

By     get stories by email


In German director Doris Dorrie's Cherry Blossoms, a parent experiences the bereavement in its own way, of no longer recognizing in one's adult offspring the young children they once were. The autobiographical family drama When Did You Last See Your Father? bears the solemn weight of a similar theme, the involuntary role reversal of adult children finding themselves through no desire of their own, as peers and nurturers to parents, even as a lifetime of resentments hang in the air.

Directed by Anand Tucker (Shopgirl, Hilary And Jackie) and adapted by David Nicholls from the memoir of writer Blake Morrison, When Did You Last See Your Father? is a compilation of present times and childhood flashbacks in the life of Blake (Colin Firth). He's a successful, award-winning British poet who has always been a disappointment to his denigrating physician dad, Arthur (Jim Broadbent).

A cocky manipulator and womanizer, Arthur seems to merely tolerate his son (played as a tortured adolescent by Matthew Beard), while his devoted but unhappy wife Kim (Juliet Stevenson) endures his infidelity and brash public behavior in silence. And as an adult, Blake seems unable to leave behind lingering childhood grudges against his father, which ignite when he's faced with the terminal illness of his now elderly parent.

When Did You Last See Your Father? deals with grim subject matter touching on the difficulty of facing the flaws of instinctively idealized parents that few children are willing or able to confront. The film delicately weaves this often excruciating emotional turmoil through a brooding tale, with little dramatic relief.

And left unexplored though with much curiosity raised, is how such a childish man assumed the enormous responsibilities of being a doctor, or the way in which Blake's dysfunctional father eventually impacted on his son's relationship with his own children. A keen and candid subjective scrutiny of parenting through the eyes of a damaged offspring, but an insular perspective that rarely ventures outside those long festering psychological wounds.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated PG-13
2 stars

DVD Features: Commentary With Director Anand Tucker; Deleted Scenes.

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Potable water is becoming increasingly scarce. Water is life, but human misuse of water is causing big problems, according to the Secret of Water documentary.
Don't miss these opening movies of the week including Cinderella, starring Lily James, a live-action version of the classic fairytale.
Working man Darnell Lewis is stuck on the wrong side of the tracks in South Central L.A., living the opposite life to Mr. King who has money all around him.
High-action movies, starting with The Gunman, with Sean Penn, directed by Pierre Morel, plus the sci-fi Insurgent, with Shailene Woodley and Taylor Lautner in Tracers.
Sean Penn showcases his abilities in drama and action, as an assassin who leaves the scene of the crime only to return years later, expecting his girlfriend to be still waiting.
Besides covering the Obama administration, April's responsibilities include hosting 'The White House Report,' a syndicated show airing on about 300 radio stations around the country. The Morgan State grad still lives in her native Baltimore which is

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site