father’s day movies
What did you get your dad for Father’s Day? A tie? A wallet? An iPad? One of the best gifts you could ever give dad on Father’s Day is spending time together. So, be a couch potato with your dad and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon rekindling your bond by watching a movie. This week we have rounded up some great father-child relationship movies...
In ‘Kramer’ director Robert Benton tells the powerful story of married couple’s divorce and the impact on everyone involved. Dustin Hoffman stars as Ted Kramer, a workaholic father who must face life as a single parent struggling to take care of not only his young son, but himself after his wife leaves them. After finding his feet, he heads to court to keep custody of his son. Dustin Hoffman initially starts off as a reluctant dad but finds fatherhood worth fighting for in a custody battle with the other Kramer, played by Meryl Streep. The film received five Academy Awards including best picture, director, actor (Hoffman), and supporting actress (Meryl Streep).
Based on Daniel Wallace’s novel of the same name, ‘Big Fish’ is a charming father-and-son tale filled with emotions and passion. Directed by Tim Burton, stories real and imagined are blended with total delight in this myth-laden movie. ‘Big Fish’ is the story of a braggart and exaggerator, Edward Bloom (Albert Finney), and his son, Will (Billy Crudup). Edward on his deathbed tells the fantastical stories of his life to his estranged adult son, who is skeptical of his father’s tall tales. He doesn’t like the stories initially, however, by the end he sees the enthusiasm of his father while telling the stories and learns to appreciate their emotional and spiritual truth rather than the literal one.
On the surface, this is a wonderful tale beautifully caught on film by director of photography Philippe Rousselot, but dig deeper and ‘Big Fish’ is also a compelling look at the relationships between fathers and sons, and the child coming to terms with the parent’s mortality.
‘Definitely, Maybe’, written and directed by Adam Brooks, has charm and spirit. The movie is set in Manhattan during Bill Clinton’s first Presidential campaign and the years afterward. In this delightful rom-com, Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds), a political consultant, recounts his romantic history to his daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin). She is bent on hearing about her soon-to-be-divorced father’s love life. Maya has a nice time listening to his stories and commenting critically on them. In the end Maya plays cupid to reunite her father with his one true love April (Isla Fisher). Daughters always have a superpower of understanding what their fathers truly want.
Based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2006 novel, ‘The Road’ is a post-apocalyptic dramatic thriller about a father and his son walking alone through burned America. The son has lost his mother and they have little hopes of survival. However, the duo braves hardships and harsh weather conditions together, making it out alive for the most part of it. Directed by John Hillcoat, ‘The Road’ is certainly the least commercial product in recent Hollywood history. Both book and movie make you sentimental, there’s a smattering of subtext - a little eco-politics here, a spot of family psychology there. On which level, Hillcoat’s movie is a resounding triumph. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood, and Nick Cave’s wrenching score reinforces it. But it is the performances that ultimately hold the film together. This movie will teach you to stick by your family no matter what.
The movie is a delight to watch as the characters are engaging and the filmmaking is wonderfully offbeat. This is the film that got Christopher Plummer his extremely belated Oscar win, and for good reason. In Mike Mills’ ‘Beginners’, he plays Hal, an elderly man who comes out of the closet to his son, Oliver (Ewan McGregor), and pursues a younger man in his newfound life. A closer bond forms between father and son, and even after Hal’s death a few years later, Oliver feels inspired by him to pursue his own love, with the beautiful French actress Anna (Melanie Laurent). Though the movie deals with an older man discovering his sexuality, it also more broadly examines father-child kinships and the importance of honesty and openness for successful relationships, romantic or otherwise.
Alexander Payne’s funny and touching ‘Nebraska’ stars Bruce Dern as an elderly man who believes he has won a million-dollar sweepstakes and embarks on a journey to Nebraska to claim his prize. His estranged son (Will Forte) sees that his father has fallen prey to a scam, but agrees to accompany him on his trip. Their journey takes them through Woody’s hometown, and explores the father-son dynamic that time has eroded. Shot in black and white, ‘Nebraska’ is an intimate road movie about one family.
The film’s laughs are as low-key as Payne’s reflective but straight-shooting style of storytelling, and there’s a fair amount of sadness. There’s a last-minute dash for warmth, too, but mostly ‘Nebraska’ is fairly blunt about family relationships and friendships, while preserving the possibility that neither are necessarily bad for you and never getting too tragic or maudlin.
‘The Tree of Life’ is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Directed by Terrence Malick, this movie shows the relationship between a strict father and a rebellious son. The movie is going to remind you of your rebellious years when you questioned everything your father asked you to do. This may not be your typical ‘good dad’ movie, but it’s a poetic depiction of the complexities in their relationship and how father and son mirror each other.