When Did You Last See Your Father? (2008)
Critic Consensus: Sensitive to a fault, Tucker's adaptation of the Morrison novel is nonetheless solidly scripted and well-acted; guard your heartstrings.
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Critic Reviews for When Did You Last See Your Father?
The winning aspect of this adaptation of a best-selling autobiography is in the director's management of the points of view.
Frustratingly stagnant at times but ultimately a moving story about a dying father and the son who must come to terms with him.
Everything in Water Lilies is more guarded, more complex and far more interesting than it seems.
A small, beautifully acted piece adapted from the British poet Blake Morrison's memoir.
...a disappointingly by-the-numbers drama that rarely lives up to the effectiveness of its performances.
Audience Reviews for When Did You Last See Your Father?
It's hard to come to terms with seeing your parents as they are as human beings instead of parents. Then having to deal with losing one of them forever at the same time. Well acted...
"A parent and a child. The past and the present. Memories and secrets. Can you know someone for a lifetime.... and not know them at all? The life of a father. Through the journey of a son."
As poet Blake Morrison (Colin Firth) visits his dying father (Jim Broadbent), he remembers the feeling of being overshadowed by his gregarious dad. Blake's conflicted memories roam back and forth through the 1950s, the '60s and then the late '80s , the last in which Blake is a married man with a career of his own.
Blake Morrison's memories are served for public consumption in a respectful but slightly confused rendition. Jim Broadbent delight us, once more, with his overgrown child of a father that seems a figment of her son's imagination. His childishness seems to be his only flaw. I couldn't help but being reminded of Tim Burton's "Big Fish" this time, with radically different flights of fancy. Colin Firth plays the writer/son as a crashing bore. Was that on purpose? I've been longing to see Firth again in parts like the ones he so amazingly captured - "Apartment Zero" comes to mind. Here earnest or not earnest, loving, selfish and so forth I didn't quite get myself interested enough to care as much as I feel I should have. Matthew Beard, the younger Blake and Juliet Stevens as the mother, manage to create more intriguing characters. The film, however, belongs to Jim Broadbent - His character is a loving mix of assorted British loving eccentrics. The fact that this is the way her son Blakes remembers him, makes the experience worth while.
The whole father-dying-and-son-not-able-to-forgive-father's-past-infidelities thing has been milked past all recognition for the last few years, and I originally dismissed this movie as another sub-par derivative that probably stemmed from Tim Burton's Big Fish (possibly earlier, but I'm not that well-informed) in 2003. But it was weird how this movie affected me. Writers tend to focus on this topic because it's something we all go through - we all have issues with our parents and we think it's going to end sometime and eventually everybody will be friends but all of a sudden it is too late and your dad's dead and you're still harboring all this ill will with no outlet to let it go. And I guess it's like how everybody likes to focus on the coming-of-age story even though it's been overdone and very rarely is a "spin" done on it nowadays because even the permutations have been exhausted. But still filmmakers keep on churning them out and they're not bad at all. This is a different kind of coming-of-age where the author has matured already but there's that one arrested development inherent in parental relationships that still makes them a child. It's funny but the scenes that resonated with me most were among the most cliched - the ash scattering almost jubilant in nature, the tight tear-filled hug upon the son's graduation, the drive around the sand with the opera (naturally, it's got to be opera, right?) swirling all around your ears. The movie was only like 90 minutes long but sometimes it felt like three hours, but that didn't necessarily make it bad...just slow. I like the British feel of it, the little humorisms and outfits and way of walking, it made me feel like I was inside a foreign film without the subtitles. And it had heart, because it was about a subject probably very near and dear to the author. I can identify and I think the time period of my life I was going through amplified the affect the movie gave me. Uneven, long, but definitely resonant.
When Did You Last See Your Father? Quotes
|Arthur Morrison:||Moment of truth. Let there be light. All right. What's next then?|
|Blake Morrison:||Please Dad, stop breathing. Just stop. If you can't come back as you were, just go.|
|Arthur Morrison:||We all have to die sooner or later. When our time's up, our time's up.|
|Kim:||He has every petrol receipt since 1949 in there.|
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