A Loving Father
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this plays like therapy and we are disincluded - entirely unlikely scenario of son entrapping his father to find forgiveness - made tragic by the son's early death ..Published on February 1, 2014 by Leslie Gardner
Both the Amazon ad and the DVD container list the film's running time as 103 minutes (which agrees with the IMDB web site). Read morePublished on March 12, 2013 by Thomas T. Butler
Again I bought this DVD due to having Gerard Depardieu in it and especially his son Guillaume. Still the story line seemed crazy. It is just different I guess. Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by Mastercard
This movie offers a hard hitting and very important lesson for men dealing with their fathers.Published on March 10, 2008 by Markus Youssef