Saturday, October 17, 2009

London Film Fest Day 4 - FATHER OF MY CHILDREN

From the director of TOUT EST PARDONE, Mia Hansen-Love, comes another deeply felt, finely observed, study of a family in crisis. The father, Gregoire, is a French film producer - genuinely passionate about cinema, dashing, charming, wonderfully affectionate toward his wife and three daughters, but struggling under crippling financial debt. Louis-do de Lencquesaing (pictured right) gives a pitch-perfect performance of a man trying to block out encroaching worries. As the movie moves into the second half, the focus switches to Gregoire's family, coming to terms with financial and emotional ruin. Louis-do's real-life daughter Alice (SUMMER HOURS) gives a similarly finely modulated performance as a clever, introspective, sensitive girl dealing with a crisis and her mother's manic attempts to raise money.

What I love about FATHER OF MY CHILDREN, but also Mia Hanson-Love's first feature ALL IS FORGIVEN is her ability to allow characters and situations to breathe. It's in the accumulation of small details of everyday life - little moments of affection or frustration - eating dinner, driving on the motorway on the phone - that we get an authentic feel for the characters in her films. And in doing so - in spending real time with them - we become deeply involved in their struggles. Her films have a quiet power that makes them compelling. In addition, for cineastes and lovers of independent film in particular, this film shows how far those who are passionate about non-mainstream films struggle to have them realised.

LE PERE DE MES ENFANTS won the UN CERTAIN REGARD Special Jury Prize at Cannes 2009, and played Toronto 2009. It opens in France on December 16th.

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