"This is a well scripted film, dealing with the sudden death of a partner. Owen has to come to terms with his loss, being a single parent, having to juggle family life and a career which requires travelling – and the latter don’t go hand in hand. This all felt very realistic – having seen my parents try it after separation.
Owen’s relationships with his sons are superbly observed, as are his attempts to do things on his own, and in his own way by instinct (to varying degrees of success). This film is intelligent, not clichéd.
The story also concentrates on the warmth of friendship between his two sons who, having lived on opposite sides of the world, get to meet one holiday – when the youngest appears to be 7, and the older of the two about 14/15. I have to say these lads are great actors, and their antics and companionship made me heartily laugh. Their often strained relationship with Owen is easy to understand, as are the times when Owen’s character lets his heart rule his head over giving the lads some freedom and fun. Anyone with sons will understand the often strange/inexplicable antics of lads – and how unintentionally funny this behaviour can be. I thought his youngest son’s made up “song” sung while bouncing on the trampoline in the garden hilarious.
TO has described this as probably Clive Owen’s best performance to date. Yes, it probably is. But to say so is to slightly dismiss him in “Croupier”. This is a great film, absent of posturing, and entirely credible. Not what you’d call a “feel good” film, just realistic, and by no means downbeat.
Clive Owen doesn’t disappoint in this choice of parts and acting. Other members of the audience were clearly as caught up in the film as I was, as no one spoke, played with their phone, fidgeted, or left early. I think this one might deserve a second visit.
Worth 4 stars."