Fathers And Daughters


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Fathers & Daughters
"This is a film about rejection. Everyone's contaminated in one way or another"

You might call this a double header. Two for One. A bargain?

A waste.

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First up is Russell Crowe, reminding those who might have forgotten that he's good with disability. He plays Jake Davis, a Pulitzer prize winning novelist who goes off the rails after his wife is killed in a car crash. And then there's the question of what to do with his fivesomething daughter, Katie, a blonde cutie of considerable charm. Also, he has writer's block and suffers some kind of epilepsy, which is where the acting comes in.

Second up is Katie (Amanda Seyfried), now twentysomething, living in New York and playing the singles bars like a pro. She has it all, well mostly all - easy on the eye and the conversation, a little nervous maybe, a come-on-get-out kind of girl.

Katie is the key to both stories but what she unlocks doesn't add up to a train of gravy. Jake's problem is that he loves her too much and Katie's problem is that she won't stay with a man long enough to love him at all.

This is a film about rejection. Everyone's contaminated in one way or another, although Katie's psychological history makes little sense since she had, as far as you can see, an adored childhood. Later her insecurities feel contrived, a dramatic licence to confuse.

It is difficult to guess what rookie screenwriter, Brad Desch, is attempting to do with this story of damaged ambition and emotional dysfunction. Apart from a glaze of sentimentality, the presence of an expensively renovated Jane Fonda, as Jake's agent, and Aaron Paul discarding the drug fuelled mania of Breaking Bad in favour of decency and sensitivity, Fathers And Daughters appears to be searching for its own salvation.

Is love a weapon? Are relationships an invitation to the dark side? Is the past a promise broken and will the future bring happiness, or heartbreak?

The answers are not here.

Reviewed on: 07 Nov 2015
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The emotional diversity of a father's love for his daughter and his daughter's inability to love. Insecurity runs riot across a landscape of psychological dysfunction
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Director: Gabriele Muccino

Writer: Brad Desch

Starring: Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul, Kylie Rogers, Diane Kruger, Ryan Eggold, Jane Fonda, Bruce Greenwood, Janet McTeer, Michelle Veintimilla, Quvenzhané Wallis, Octavia Spencer, Kaza Marie Ayersman, Claire Chapelli, Brendan Griffin

Year: 2015

Runtime: 116 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US, Italy


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