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When Did You Last See Your Father?
When Did You Last See Your Father
Actor: Colin Firth
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
PG     2008     1hr 32min

A son struggles with memories and feelings surrounding his father's terminal illness.

     

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Movie Details

Actor: Colin Firth
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/04/2008
Original Release Date: 06/05/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 06/05/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 32min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

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Movie Reviews

Sensitive portrayal of that most difficult of relationships,
Robert J. Crawford | Balmette Talloires, France | 11/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Having recently lost my father, I hoped that this film would help me to look into our relationship, to grieve, to let my feelings come to the fore in private, for myself beyond the (very helpful) rituals we have of letting go. Although the film relationship was of course very different from the one I had with my father, it brilliantly addresses the universal issues between fathers and sons: there are so many memories - of fun, perceived slights, love, and anger - that swirl in the mind for the rest of the son's life. The son, Blake, has questions he wants to resolve, yet they can't really talk about them, even as his father lies on his deathbed. Blake struggles with disappointment in his charming and manipulative father, whose flaws and strengths, whose caring and occasional carelessness, remain present in his imagination every single day, with the specificity of recall you would expect of a poet. It is so primal in love, so raw in striving and competition, as the son takes his own path and the father is left behind yet still living within him.

The father's last days are also portrayed with painful intimacy. Unless one has experienced it, it is hard to comprehend what it is like to watch a parent slip away as the body fails, yet this film portrays it with realism and empathy, with fabulously nuanced acting.

You see the father as a great spirit, as a selfish jerk, as a charmer of "other" women, as a joker indulgent of his son's desires, as the only person who can give certain things, as full of his own needs yet caring. It is funny, sad, enraging, and loving all at the same time. These emotions washed over me as I watched this film, truly a cathartic experience that reduced me at times to tears.

This is a mature film, a masterpiece that approaches the complexity of life. Blake too is a flawed character, though his life is more or less on track. THe film ends with a wonderfully ambiguous optimism, summing up the exasperation and love all at the same moment. The mother is also subtly present, though not at the center of the story. In my view, the balance was right.

Warmly recommended. But do not expect a comedy - it is painful and uplifting realism at its best."
Not easy to watch, but rewarding.
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 12/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

""When Did You Last See Your Father?"
(2008)
----------------------------------------------
This is a thoughtful, multi-layered drama about a middle-aged man coming to terms with his father's death, and the termination of their rocky father-son relationship. Jim Broadbent is brilliant as the father, an irascible, self-centered (but often charming) curmudgeon who uses his strong personality and social skills to dominate and belittle his son, constantly criticizing him and discounting his accomplishments. The story is told in flashbacks, with Colin Firth as the adult son, and well-matched by the other actors who play him in younger years.

The son's memories are painful and sharp, but as the film goes on, we see that his perceptions are not always to be trusted, and indeed, on reexamining the childhood incidents that helped shape his life, he realizes with adult hindsight that perhaps all is not what it seems. The emotional core of this nuanced film is made all the more powerful by the closing scenes in which the father dies at home -- the scenes of homecare and dealing with the sick and the dying are not images often explored in our culture, and may be uncomfortable for some, cathartic for others. A fine film, with excellent performances throughout. (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Film Reviews)"
The actors, the director - all over the top - what a great m
Carolen L. Green | Casa, Arkansas USA | 03/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This was a movie that gave so much. The way Anand Tucker filmed this movie was captivating - using mirror image for the grown Blake,the teenage Blake gave such emotional looks - you could almost read his thoughts. Colin Firth and Jim B - gave outstanding performances. Someone on here compared Colin Firth to Hugh Grant or said he was trying to act like him .... never will there be a day in his life that Hugh Grant could act any of the roles Colin Firth portrays beautifully. I always buy movies that Colin Firth is in - because I know without question, he will take me inside the characters head - and make every scene believable.

I must say again how incredible the director was - the way he filmed this movie was very unique and added so much to the story, it helped show the mood of all the people involved in this stressful period of life. As a person who has lost both mother and father - it is a good thing to see, you are not the only one who had unresolved questions and many unsaid things you would have liked to express before you had to let a parent go.

Great job to all involved in this great ride."