NewsBlaze search box 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

When Hollywood releases a violent action film, 'loosely-based' on truth, it's certain that Hollywood is about to play fast and loose with the historical record.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Will Smith, David Morse and Concussion director, Peter Landesman, plus news of the Zomba Prison project and Star Wars.
The Women Film Critics Circle is a gathering of national and international women's voices presenting a fresh and differently experienced viewpoint from the primarily white male dominated film criticism world.
Surreal sequences instead of theme, and pretentious vinaigrettes replace what should be a slice-of-life experience. It is art house, without the art, tedious to watch.
This true story about a transgender man suffers badly from overkill. At two hours, it's too long; the music is too dramatic; the actors try too hard and there's much too much crying.
Prairie Miller talks to Elizabeth Hurley about The Royals, and to Nina Paley, artist, filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and free culture copyright activist.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2016 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