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A Loving Father (2002)

Gérard Depardieu , Guillaume Depardieu , Jacob Berger  |  Unrated |  DVD
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gérard Depardieu, Guillaume Depardieu, Sylvie Testud, Julien Boisselier, Noémie Kocher
  • Directors: Jacob Berger
  • Writers: Jacob Berger, Ed Radtke, Pascal Barollier
  • Producers: Alex Marshall, Claude Léger, Clive Waldron, David Rogers
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: TLA Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 2004
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001WTWJ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,800 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Loving Father" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Real-life father and son Gerard Depardieu and Guillaume Depardieu star in this almost too-close-for-comfort drama about fame and a dysfunctional family. Paul is a menacing yet sympathetic twenty-something drifter who has lived his life in the shadow of Leo, his emotionally distant father. Leo is a celebrated novelist who has just won a Nobel Prize. In a moment of desperation, Paul abducts Leo and tries to connect with him as they travel the English countryside. A Loving Father traces the complexities of family dynamics in this bitterly funny tale. French with English subtitles.

Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
(8)
2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
My mother once confessed to me in her 65th year,"Ya know,it took me 65 years to realize that I should have never married and had children in the first place!" This is a very sobering and brutally frank remark from a Mother to her Son,huh?My Father once confessed,"I can't understand how you could feel the way you do,because I am not like that!"Ah,once again,parental words by which a child can form himself,right!? Well, that is exactly what you will get in the film A LOVING FATHER-brutal frankness! Suffice it to say,some people may find this film ridiculous if they have had idyllic childhoods! If your upbringing was NOT the All-American Apple-Pie (or in French-all-French Quiche and good wine) informative years, then THIS FILM IS FOR YOU.You will identify with with the lost and

frustrated feeling of being an adult with parents,or parent,who is SO narcissistic that no one else could possibly exist .

Leo Shepherd (Gerard Depardieu) is a self-absorbed writer who has won The Nobel Prize.He has two children:Virginia,who has been a surrogate to her Father, and Paul (Guillaume Depardieu),who has been the "screw-up"(as he has been lead to think of himself).These three relationships come to a head when,Leo, travelling to Stockhom Sweden to get The Nobel,skids off the road to avoid an accident.The world now thinks he is dead.Paul has been following Leo and picks him up,actually turning the whole scene into a kidnapping.What Paul wants is for his Father to LISTEN.Leo is virtually incapable of that!.YES WORLD,PEOPLE LIKE LEO DO EXIST!The plot thickens when Virginia discovers that her Father is not dead.All three characters have a final and VERY unpleasant and unrewarding EPIPHANY at the end of this film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Variety film critic Derek Elley's point of view June 6, 2004
Format:DVD
"In a wonderfully sustained section of grumpy but restrained acting, Depardieu Sr. gives the stage to his son, who's more than up to the challenge. Their scenes together, staged almost like a black comedy, are free of both unnecessary verbal violence and ingratiating sentiment, preparing the way for their uneasy truce when the son cuts his father's bonds and they travel on as equals.
As Paul opens up emotionally, and Leo reciprocates, we realize they're both damaged goods: The 28-year-old had a spell with drugs, and Leo, once an inveterate womanizer, confesses he's now dried up as a writer. More than once, the pic plays like a twisted version of Ingmar Bergman's '50s classic, "Wild Strawberries," also centered on a distinguished personality recalling his youth and shortcomings as he journeys to accept an award.
Jean-Claude Petit's orchestral score turns what could have been a by-the-numbers father-son drama into a kind of emotional thriller, and the sense of dislocation from reality is heightened by Berger's direction, which is speckled with offbeat touches and humor. (Helmer's only previous feature was the 1990 "Angels," followed by telemovie work.) Ending is refreshingly free of saccharine melodrama, with a dreamlike, ironic coda.
Supporting cast is solid, with Testud essaying another of her brittle roles as the daughter who can't bear to see her father squander his talent.
But the main show is between the two Depardieus, in a piece of casting that resonates beyond their roles onscreen. In this one pic, Gerard reclaims his position as one of Europe's finest actors, after a recent series of unwise choices. Here he settles comfortably into a late-middle-aged persona that doesn't rely on eccentricities or pure physicality, while Guillaume definitely comes of screen age."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This is a story of a long conflicted family in which a series of events allows three members of the family to make breaks with the past and move foward.

Leo Shepard, played by Gerard Depardieu, is a French novelist who has just won the Nobel Prize in literature. He is a rugged rural farmer, a dominating father to his daughter and son-in-law, and a womanizer who dominates a string of women who worship him over the years.

His daughter, Virginie, played by Sylvie Testud, has devoted her life to her father, ensuring that everything around him supports him in his writing. She had devoted her life to his talent. In her efforts to create an atmosphere where he can create, she has become obsessive and anorexic. She longs to see the secret manuscript he has supposedly been writing for the last 3 years.

His son, Paul, played by Guillaume Depardieu, is a conflicted soul. As a child he was ignored by his writing obsessed father, beat or punished when he demanded attention, frightened of his father's anger and dominance, and eventually the creator of a 'show-down' to determine whether his father loved his son more than his art. The child Paul destroys a novel that his father had been writing for 5 years. His father nearly drowns him in anger. The child is pulled from the blue ink stained tub by his mother as crippled damaged goods.

All this pain and tension comes to a climax when Leo wins the Nobel prize and decides to take his motorcycle to Stockholm to get his prize. Along the way a series of odd events allows Paul to kidnap his father and give the world the impression that his father had died.

The father and son verbally stab at each other and it is revealed that the son has recovered from years of heroin addiction and alcoholism and is now successful.
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