And When Did You Last Really See Your Son?
"And When Did You Last See Your Father?" (2007) is an English film
directed by Anand Tucker. It reminded me of the U.S. film, "The
Savages," because the central plot of both movies involves a dying
father who has not lived an exemplary life. Jim Broadbent is superb as
Arthur, an obviously wealthy man who nevertheless goes through life
cheating and manipulating people in small ways. He has a bluff, hearty,
hail-fellow-well-met personality that charms people who meet him for
the first time. In reality, he bullies his son and cheats on his wife.
(Juliet Stevenson is excellent in the supporting role of wife and
mother, as is Matthew Beard who plays Blake as a teenager.)
Colin Firth is equally convincing as Arthur's son, Blake. He's a
successful award-winning writer, who nonetheless sees himself as
perpetually in his father's shadow. Both men must come to grips with
the situation when Arthur develops terminal cancer.
Broadbent and Firth look like each other, so it's easy to accept them
as father and son. The film unfolds in an intelligent and interesting
fashion. It's both artistically satisfying and philosophically
challenging. I think the movie has been underrated by IMDb viewers.
It's low key and thoughtful, but that's what it's supposed to be.
There's nothing about it that struck me as artificially artistic. It's
an honest and effective film, and worth seeking out and seeing..
Warm, slightly disheveled movie
Lot of us had troubled relationships with our fathers. Some get
resolved, most of them do not. This movie is one man's attempt to come
to terms with the death of his estranged father. It would be very easy
to fall into trap of tear-jerking clichés, if director decided to pull
the strings of cheap emotional response. Fortunately he had far more
sense than that. As a result of his talent comes this warm, slightly
disheveled movie without easy answers and final resolutions. Lack of
resolution can be a resolution on its own. As usual in British movies
we have an amazing cast of actors. Above all Jim Broadbent and Colin
Firth, and the heartbreaking quiet suffering of Juliet Stevenson, whose
subtle dignity spoke more than thousand words..