Get us in your inbox

The Father of My Children

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
It was the death of Humbert Balsan, the original producer of young French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve’s first film, ‘Tout Est Pardonée’, that inspired the character of Grégoire Canvel (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing), a handsome and cultured Parisian film producer with a beautiful wife (Chiara Caselli), three young children, an apartment in the city and a house in the country.

The superficial order and enviable comfort of Grégoire’s home life contrasts with the chaos of his film company, Moon Films, a struggling and passionate outfit where there’s not enough money in the bank or time in the day to satisfy the interests of both the arthouse filmmakers they produce and a growing list of creditors.

There’s a sadness at the core of Hansen-Løve’s impressive and moving second film, but it feels wrong to call it a tragedy, so gentle is her humanism and so light is her touch as a storyteller, both of which recall Eric Rohmer’s non-period films. The story involves a number of surprising, emotional twists (some too important to reveal), but the 29-year-old director’s brisk and breezy style is to avoid the melodramatic and move on, while planting feelings in our minds to consider at our leisure.

It’s a method familiar from her first film, in which she moved freely between characters in one family and was interested in their secrets and the bonds between a teenage girl and her parents. Here, her insistence on giving as much attention to the filmmaking process as emotions feels awkward at points, but the essence of the film is a welcome compassion and curiosity about inner lives.
Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:12A
  • Release date:Friday 5 March 2010
  • Duration:110 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Mia Hansen-Løve
  • Screenwriter:Mia Hansen-Løve
  • Cast:
    • Chiara Caselli
    • Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
    • Alice de Lencquesaing
You may also like
You may also like