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The Father of My Children (Le pere de mes enfants) (2008)

tomatometer

91

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 55
Fresh: 50 | Rotten: 5

A tragedy gracefully lifted by tender empathy and moments of joy, Father of My Children is a quiet triumph for writer-director Mia Hansen-Love.

89

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 2

A tragedy gracefully lifted by tender empathy and moments of joy, Father of My Children is a quiet triumph for writer-director Mia Hansen-Love.

audience

60

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 1,192

My Rating

Movie Info

A family is forced to learn a painful lesson about the man of the house in this drama from director Mia Hansen-Løve. Grégoire Canvel (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) is an independent film producer who runs a well-respected production company, Moon Films. For Grégoire, to work is to live, and while he loves his wife, Sylvia (Chiara Caselli), and their three daughters, Clemence (Alice de Lencquesaing), Valentine (Alice Gautier), and Billie (Manelle Driss), during the week he's practically a stranger to

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Mia Hansen-Løve

Jun 21, 2010

IFC Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (56) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (5) | DVD (2)

The film is achieved with a rare tenderness and grace by 29-year-old French actress-filmmaker Mia Hanson-Love.

November 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While the movie is far from perfect, those potential missteps are, in the end, part of what makes The Father of My Children so beautiful.

August 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A modest drama about a suicide and its aftermath that never quite moves an audience as it should.

July 23, 2010 | Comments (2)
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A subtle work on an exceedingly difficult subject.

July 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Father of My Children is exceptional drama. Compelling and unforced, it shows sensitivity and evenhandedness in approaching a difficult subject.

July 23, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is a film about children and their parents, and not knowing where fate, or life, can take you.

July 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Draws one in both empathetically and suspensefully.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

A heartbreaking fable about life, legacy and the way men define themselves through their work.

November 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

It's quiet, unshowy and devastating.

November 5, 2010 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

It's a very intelligent film this, and one I think which is not just revealing about film-making but has insights into the dilemmas of many others who see the businesses -- or indeed family farms -- they have built up over a lifetime going under.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

There's a lot of intelligence and humanity in the script and it follows its own path. [Hansen-Løve's] direction shows rare confidence and poise, a willingness to build characters slowly, with a natural flow of time.

August 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

French drama Father of My Children addresses an extremely confronting subject with both an unblinking gaze and an open mind.

August 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

Inception celebrates the manufactured reality, Father of My Children the true one.

August 26, 2010 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

What makes it a wonderful film is that for those of us inside this crazy dream factory, and we're only on the edges, it depicts the relentless nature of the beast, the roller-coaster ride, the unstoppable nature of a film in production.

August 25, 2010 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

The subtle, tender sadness of the film trumps any of its small scripting problems and certainly marks out not only the film's young cast members but also the director as ones to watch.

August 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Trespass
Trespass

Mia Hansen-Løve deserves credit both as a writer and a director. This is a very convincing drama.

August 24, 2010 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
ABC Radio Brisbane

Fresh-faced performances and tender writing makes for a family who jumps straight off the screen and into your heart.

August 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

This delicate and beautiful film about the highs and lows of a close-knit family takes us on an emotional journey in which we experience joy, laughter, sorrow and contemplation.

August 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A film that portrays a subject that could easily have become cloying with an austere, penetrating eye.

August 5, 2010 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Father is a very intimate film, and writer-director Mia Hanson-Love has a Robert Altman-like gift for making us believe the relationships continue outside the bounds of the screen.

July 23, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for The Father of My Children (Le pere de mes enfants)

A man with a troubled professional life and an idyllic personal life is forced to re-evaluate his life.
An hour into this film, there's an event which defines all that came before and comes after. But since the Flixster synopsis doesn't give it away (even though the Netflix synopsis does), I won't reveal it here. What I can say is that the film is thoroughly uninteresting for the first hour, but afterward it finds its focus and comes to a fairly satisfactory resolution. The film seems to be saying that any attempts we make in order to find meaning and existential security in our professional lives are not as satisfying as what we ignore in our personal lives.
Overall, Father of My Children is poorly constructed and not well paced (the event an hour into it should have begun the film), but I ended up respecting it even if I couldn't like it.
April 30, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

One of those films that critics love, I guess. For me....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
September 3, 2011
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

Expertly crafted French drama with naturalistic child performances which is let down by the central conceit not being believably built up.
July 13, 2010
gor41
Gordon A

Super Reviewer

An excellent treatment of a difficult subject that was all the more personal for this viewer because of the recent suicide of someone he thought he knew fairly well. Gregoire Canvel (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) is a somewhat successful movie producer who has made some questionable decisions that have left his empire vulnerable. The first half of the film sets up the situation so that the audience understands why he would find himself in such a dark place, but he keeps all of this somewhat hidden from his wife, Sylvia (Chiara Caselli) and his children. The last half of the film shows those affected by this ultimately selfish act dealing with the fallout. Of particular note was the performance by Alice de Lencquesang as his eldest daughter, Clemence. She managed to make the audience feel her pain without resorting to melodrama. One gets the feeling that she suppressed her rage and despair in order to appear brave for her mother and her sisters, yet her pain was evident in the smallest of gestures. All of the actors were marvelous in this and quite believable. The scenes in Paris evoked life in a vibrant city, while those at the various shooting locations of the films Gregoire was producing helped the audience feel his world shutting down on him. The action is slow, but purposely so. This is not a subject that lends itself to rapid-fire jump cuts and action sequences. Only by allowing the story to emerge as it did here can we find anywhere to attach the strong emotions this created. This was a sad story, but it never wallowed in the sadness. One gets the sense that life goes on for those who remain, as it must.
April 5, 2011
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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