Title – Fathers and Daughters (2015)
Director – Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness)
Cast – Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul, Dianne Kruger, Quvenzhané Wallis, Bruce Greenwood, Jane Fonda, Octavia Spencer, Kylie Rogers
Plot – Famed writer Jake Davis (Crowe) struggles to be the father he needs to be to his young daughter Katie (Rogers) after a tragic car accident kills his wife. Years later a grown up Katie (Seyfried) struggles with her own life as the events of her past continue to shape her future but there’s potential salvation when she meets budding writer Cameron (Paul).
“There’s nothing in here, its empty”
Review by Eddie on 24/08/2016
While it sometimes falls into the mawkish and twee (largely thanks to Brad Desch sometimes to sappy script), The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds director Gabriele Muccino’s Russell Crowe led box office misfire Fathers and Daughters is an unfortunately critically derided drama that packs a powerful and thoughtful emotional wallop and features noteworthy performances from all its main cast members whose commitment to their respective roles makes this poignant story all the more effective.
Fathers and Daughters has been called out by critics who’ve labelled the film “manipulative” and “extremely saccharine” but for those that found Muccino’s work on his quietly effective and well regarded aforementioned Will Smith star vehicles will once more find the filmmaker on fine form with this drama as Fathers and Daughters creates an intriguing and never uninvolving tale of love, loss and ones battle with mental demons and how Muccino structures his film to keep a majority of the films major reveals till the end of the story will have many viewers waiting on baited breath as Muccino cast each make their marks in various timelines and plotlines.
Showing a different side to himself than what is the usual, Russell Crowe acquits himself well as tortured writer Jake Davis whose battling physical problems as well as mental while he tries to be the father he needs to be to his daughter Katie played impressively by relative newcomer Kylie Rogers. Scenes between Jake and Katie play out well thanks to these two actors and a believable bond between a father and his daughter emerges, setting up a fine groundwork for Muccino’s other timeline.
Jumping forward to our present day, a grown up Katie now played by the perhaps career best Amanda Seyfried starts a budding relationship with Aaron Paul’s (continuing on his rich vein of post Breaking Bad form) wannabe writer Cameron. This story line of Fathers and Daughters creates a strong link to what has come before as past merges with the present and emotionally resonate issues dealt with here, while not always easy to handle, are handled with care and compassion and there’s little doubt as to why this films script was once listed on the famed Black List as one of the best unmade stories written for the screen.
If one were to take a microscope to Fathers and Daughters there’s a number of obvious faults along the way and a tendency to misfire from time to time but when this film clicks, and it clicks far more often than many critics would’ve had you believe, Fathers and Daughters becomes a truly powerful study of life and love and offers up its well renowned cast members a chance to show their considerable acting chops with portrayals of characters that while floored, remain true, engaging and sometimes beautifully real.
4 potato chips out of 5