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When Did You Last See Your Father?

4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Blake Morrison (Colin Firth) must deal with his father's (Jim Broadbent) imminent death in this limited-release movie. Bonuses: deleted scenes, commentary.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Colin Firth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 4, 2008
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015HOKKS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,424 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When Did You Last See Your Father?" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Based on an autobiographical memoir by Blake Morrison WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE YOUR FATHER? is a finely wrought exploration into the delicate issues that both separate and bind fathers and sons. It is difficult for viewers whose fathers are gone not to relate to the profound tenderness and at times difficult reminiscences of their own relationships that remain as both warm and haunting dreams. David Nicholls' adaptation of Morrison's book stresses the character development of both father and son (and the rest of this British family) allowing us to understand the dilemma that faces the main character as he is asked the question that forms the title of this film.

Blake Morrison (Colin Firth) is happily married to Kathy (Gina McKee) and is a successful writer/poet who is preparing to receive an award for his contributions to literature. Present at his ceremony is his father Dr. Arthur Morrison (Jim Broadbent) who is a unique egomaniac whose personality traits affect everyone around him - both positively and negatively. After Blake's acceptance speech his father cannot even manage to say 'well done', instead furthers his comments about Blake's silly decision not to go into medicine and strive instead for the poor life of a writer. A medical emergency tosses Arthur into the hospital, he is diagnosed with terminal cancer: the remainder of the film is a series of vignettes of Blake at his father's bedside accompanied by his mother Kim (Juliet Stephenson) coupled with flashbacks to Blake's childhood (Matthew Beard plays Blake as a teenager) memories that contain moments of confusing father/son incidents as well as Blake's long standing loathing of his fathers affairs with other women such as 'Aunt Beaty' (Sarah Lancashire) and others.
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Format: DVD
Based on a true story from Blake Morrison's autobiographical account of his relationship with his father, When Did You Last See Your Father? becomes a near-tear jerker in the final act. It's a gorgeously shot film that never calls itself out, as the film is subdued and restrained in its approach. Even with rain and mist, the English country sides have never looked prettier.

Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent are superb as the film's anchors. Broadbent's playfulness as the father is offset by Firth's turn as the son, who is introvert and a bit stuffy. The film balances scenes with them, with scenes of Blake as a by growing up. Blake's misunderstanding of his father is played out in a kaleidoscope of memories.

I like the film a lot; with the way it handles how the son never fully understands his father. Through his eyes, he is bold and silly, forcing him into situations he'd rather not be in, like camping or embarrassing him when he's with a girl. The film feels too much like a series of scenes that are only strung together by the appearance of Blake and his father. It isn't until the middle section when it starts to come together in a sad but intelligent way.

His father is quickly dying from cancer and seeing him weak and immobile, Blake asks if he can have one good talk with him soon. He agrees. Will Blake ever have it and settle the issues he has with his father? The film tackles haunting subjects and re-examines the film's title in an interesting way. When was the last time Blake (or us) really seen our father? Was it at the funeral or his sick bed? These questions are answered and are quite emotionally charged.
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Comment 20 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Having recently lost my father, I hoped that this film would help me to look into our relationship, to grieve, to let my feelings come to the fore in private, for myself beyond the (very helpful) rituals we have of letting go. Although the film relationship was of course very different from the one I had with my father, it brilliantly addresses the universal issues between fathers and sons: there are so many memories - of fun, perceived slights, love, and anger - that swirl in the mind for the rest of the son's life. The son, Blake, has questions he wants to resolve, yet they can't really talk about them, even as his father lies on his deathbed. Blake struggles with disappointment in his charming and manipulative father, whose flaws and strengths, whose caring and occasional carelessness, remain present in his imagination every single day, with the specificity of recall you would expect of a poet. It is so primal in love, so raw in striving and competition, as the son takes his own path and the father is left behind yet still living within him.

The father's last days are also portrayed with painful intimacy. Unless one has experienced it, it is hard to comprehend what it is like to watch a parent slip away as the body fails, yet this film portrays it with realism and empathy, with fabulously nuanced acting.

You see the father as a great spirit, as a selfish jerk, as a charmer of "other" women, as a joker indulgent of his son's desires, as the only person who can give certain things, as full of his own needs yet caring. It is funny, sad, enraging, and loving all at the same time. These emotions washed over me as I watched this film, truly a cathartic experience that reduced me at times to tears.
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