And When Did You Last See Your Father? (12A)

Film

Drama

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Time Out says

Posted: Mon Oct 1 2007

The title is from the 1878 painting by WF Yeames, which Blake Morrison later borrowed as the title for his 1993 book – a moving response to the death of his father that favours accurate recollection over extended meditation or self-flagellation. In both book and film, we move back and forth between a few months in the early 1990s that see the illness and death of Morrison’s father, Arthur (Jim Broadbent), a retired doctor in a Yorkshire village, and the late ’50s and ’60s when Blake (played then by Bradley Johnson) is a curious teenager, embarrassed by his father’s gregarious personality and suspicious of his relationship with bubbly family friend Beaty (Sarah Lancashire). The screen darkens for the later episodes, as Arthur discovers he has cancer, falls ill quickly and dies, forcing Blake (now played by Colin Firth) to confront his stormy relationship with his father and help care for him in his final days with his mother, Kim (Juliet Stevenson). The portrayal of death is stark and unpolished.

The transfer of a first-person memoir from page to screen is often tricky, yet Anand Tucker (‘Hilary and Jackie’) and writer David Nicholls manage the task mostly with success, largely by sticking rigidly to the detail and structure of Morrison’s book. It’s not a radical solution, and visually the results are unexceptional. However, the story is well-handled and sensitively performed so as to avoid excess sentimentality and to do justice to Morrison’s work and, one imagines, his father. It’s certainly a moving film, and many will find its close examination of a father-son relationship particularly cathartic and reflective.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Oct 5, 2007

Duration:

92 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Jim Broadbent, Bradley Johnson, Gina McKee, Sarah Lancashire, Claire Skinner, Juliet Stevenson, Colin Firth

Production Designer:

Alice Normington

Editor:

Trevor Waite

Cinematography:

Howard Atherton

Music:

Barrington Pheloung

Screenwriter:

David Nicholls

Director:

Anand Tucker

Art Director:

Lynne Huitson

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LiveReviews|10
1 person listening
Aliason Fairgrieve

I agree with Chloe Clegg. This unflinchingly honest view of a father /son re;ationship has been delicately realised by the film makers in a way which gives dignity and humour to flawed human lives.

Chloe Clegg

This is a beautifully understated but moving film with exceptional performances and a thought-provoking theme which should encourage us all to examine our realtionship with our parents.

Chloe Clegg

This is a beautifully understated but moving film with exceptional performances and a thought-provoking theme which should encourage us all to examine our realtionship with our parents.

Steph

This film is sooooooooooooooooooooo good!!! Everyone go see it, you wont be disappointed! Everyone with a dad should watch this film x

Steph

This film is sooooooooooooooooooooo good!!! Everyone go see it, you wont be disappointed! Everyone with a dad should watch this film x