• R, 1 hr. 43 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Richard Roxburgh
    In Theaters:
    Jan 11, 2008 Wide
    On DVD:
    Apr 22, 2008
  • Magnolia Pictures

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Romulus, My Father Reviews

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Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
Very moving, and there just never seems to be a dull moment. This is supposed to be a true story, also, which amazes me. At the end it tells you that the boy in the story grew up and did well in his life. Sheesh. If he can, anyone can because this family (this boy especially) went through one horrible time after another. Eric Bana did a wonderful job playing the father. I have never paid much attention to him before, but now I have seen a side of his acting that leaves me at awe. Really great movie.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2007
Excellent, magnificent and emotional true story of the author Raimond Gaita's childhood of impossible love that celebrates the unbreakable bond between father and son. Eric Bana makes an astonishing performance as Raimond's father, Romulus, and for Richard Roxburgh in his directing debut.
iLeo
iLeo

Super Reviewer

December 16, 2007
Here's an interesting movie that follows the life of Romulus and his family. As he deals with daily life, he realizes that his family is falling apart and his wife is on the verge of leaving him and all that is dear to him is his son. Eric Bana and Franka Potente stars. Worth seeing.
FanGirl
FanGirl

Super Reviewer

July 24, 2008
A nice movie, but a little slow for me.
Tom S

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2008
Make sure you've got some prozac on hand after this one because you will be depressed.
JulianaBeasley
April 11, 2011
A beautiful slow-paced soliloquy about dedication, determination and loss. The The backdrop is the beautifully capturing the lush warm earth tones of the Australian countryside. The rich cinematography contrasts to the story of a father's life of solitude and desperation to build a family for himself and his young son.
This film is a tender lullaby about a man's love and dedication to the soil and to his son despite the hardships of his life.
I wouldn't run to see this film. Yes, it is a slow paced film and even though many viewers might see this as a disadvantage to a film, I see this as just the opposite. The word is commitment.
BabyFratelli6964
February 5, 2008
A very sad, touching film with fantastic performances by Bana, Csokas and newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee, who achieves adorableness without being annoying. The cinematography is amazing, and some of the scenes are heartbreaking and disturbing at the same time.
May 22, 2014
A story of impossible love that ultimately celebrates the unbreakable bond between father and son.
April 8, 2014
My Rating: 4/5 stars; Grade: B+; Gesture: One Thumb Up; Status: Fairly Better (Fresh); Emoticon: :-).
March 3, 2013
you're all stupid hagbags and don't deserve a say in anything. This movie was brilliant and deserves to be seen, Eric Bannana is a great actor and deserves some credit.
August 12, 2011
Romulus, My Father. A true and inspiring story of family, love, fatherhood, and boyhood. A coming of age depiction from the outskirts of Australia, beautifully shot, and will remind any boy of his father. Both good and bad.
This film takes it's time to develop, asking it's viewer to accept the good with the bad. A directorial debut for Richard Roxburgh, you will be blown away by the performances in this tale. The moments are true and inspired.
Marter
June 27, 2011
Romulus, My Father is based on the memoir by one of its lead characters. Raimond Gaita was in his adult life when he wrote his book. In the film, he is still a child. Portrayed here by Kodi Smit-McPhee, Romulus, My Father tells the story of the lives of a few people. That's about it. There's little plot and the themes are all ones we've seen before. The performances are really good, but the entire film is rendered almost unwatchable because of how it was put together.

I don't know who to blame for this major fault though. It could come down to the fact that this is Richard Roxburgh's début film as a director, or the blame could lie mostly on the editor. Maybe both are at fault. Regardless, the end result is one of the most poorly paced films I can remember seeing. This isn't a narrative problem; it's a problem of translating a perfectly workable story onto the screen.

The primary issue that Romulus, My Father has is in the way almost every scene functions. The majority of the scenes are far too short, and because of this brief length, fail to evoke any response from the audience. They also end up not advancing any of the characters or even helping the plot move along. They become pointless when not doing anything, and because of this make the movie feel longer than it should. Yes, I'm aware that I'm saying that short scenes are making it feel too long. I truly believe this though.

There are many moments in the film where we'll watch a scene for a minute, waiting for something to happen. Nothing will. Then, we'll cut to another scene, or we'll fade to black for a moment. The following scene will often have a similar problem. As will the next. But then we'll get to a scene of real importance -- one that functions and is engaging -- and we'll actually get something out of the film. Then it'll be cut short, and the cycle will begin anew.

This is ultimately the only big problem that Romulus, My Father, has. Everything else is actually really well done, and had there been a lot of point to the majority of the movie, these elements would have shined through even more. The acting is great, the story, or at least, what little there is of it, is interesting, and even the cinematography is really nice. It's a beautiful film to look at, but then again, it's not hard to photograph an environment that looks this nice.

Like I said earlier, the plot follows the lives of three characters. It is mostly told through the eyes of an eleven-year-old boy, Raimond (Smit-McPhee). His father, Romulus (Eric Bana) is a good person who loves his son very much. His mother, Christine (Franka Potente), has an on-and-off relationship with Romulus, and may or may not be seeing other men -- despite the fact that the two are still married. The plot is kind of weak, although this might just be due to how difficult it is to focus on, thanks to the way the film is presented to us.

Because of the way we are constantly bombarded by pointless scenes -- or at least, scenes that are rendered pointless due to being too short to make a point -- almost all of the emotion that the film attempts to give the audience is lost. There are many moments in the film where I should have cared a lot more than I did, but because I felt disconnected from these characters, I couldn't bring myself to feel anything. In a drama, this is a problem.

The strong cast almost makes up for these flaws. I've been critical of Kodi Smit-McPhee in the past, but here he shows that he has real range. Eric Bana as his father also gives a great performance. Franka Potente is less stellar, showing less range than both of her male counterparts, but this may be partly due to how she was written. She's often gloomy, and while that can work, some levity would be nice once in a while too.

You would think that there would be something to come away with after you watch Romulus, My Father, but that wasn't the case. Most dramas give you something to think about or something you can learn while watching it. Its characters learn lessons, but they don't get passed on to the audience. Once again, a disconnect with the characters comes back to strike the film down a notch. It appears to us that Gaita had a rough childhood, but just showing us scene after scene of negativity doesn't leave us feeling anything -- not even anguish.

I was really prepared to like Romulus, My Father. On paper, it seemed like something I would really enjoy. It has a good cast, has an emotionally involving story, and is set against a beautiful landscape. The execution, however, was really poor. The actors still do a good job, and it's difficult to ruin a picture-perfect backdrop, but the way the story is presented takes away anything that the film is trying to give its audience. We can't feel for these characters, and we can't learn anything from their actions, because the way the story is told makes that too difficult for us.
April 2, 2011
Heartbreaking but hopeful. Child was adorable.
Hilda
January 2, 2011
Eric Bana & child actor give powerful performances yet the story is just too depressing and you come out empty after a very slow moving film.
Oliver D.
November 15, 2010
A great film by a great country
Ewoudt Cloete
July 27, 2010
This rare dramatic gem from Australian Richard Roxburgh has a distinct disjointed quality that manages to make this extremely grim tale even more believable, resulting in a visceral emotional ride you won't soon forget. Eric Bana does a commendable job at portraying a father terminally wounded by the uncontrollable darkness in his life. The real star of the movie is however Kodi Smit-McPhee, a young actor that plays his role with so much skill, depth and conviction that it's hard to believe this young actor has not yet made his Hollywood breakthrough. Strong performances by ensemble cast members like Franka Potente and Marton Csokas keeps the story moving at a lightning pace, as the audience is taken deeper and deeper down this very dark rabbit-hole. Add to this beautiful cinematography (Peter Jackson should take notes) used to perfection to slow down the movie's pace and a rounded, open-ended conclusion and you have a film experience that stands tall in its genre. * This movie reminded me a lot of the animated classic, Grave of the Fireflies due to the use of a similar disjointed structure.
Tim U.
June 10, 2010
A very sad story, but overall a very good film.
larry g.
May 22, 2010
This was a very sad story about a boy and his father living with hardship and a great sadness......i just loved it
geesycheese
April 20, 2010
Great insight into the drama of being an immigrant, and to the darker side of the rather oftentimes comically-portrayed Australian outback.
Reprieved Soul
March 17, 2010
The reality of immigration. The Lucky Country is selective in its largesse and many will struggle and fail. Most will strengthen and all are regarded. Eventually. But this hardship tale evokes a nujmber of strands of the human condition.

A worthy antidote to Australia, the virtual travelogue and a worthy memorial to those who made it, and the forgotten who didn't.

Europe and Australia had to combine to squeeze the talent into and out of Raimond Gaita, for which we should all be thnkful.
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