Father of My Children

The Father of My Children

Director: Mia Hansen-Løve

Cast: Louis-Dominique de Lencquesaing, Chiara Caselli, Alice De Lencquesaing


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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…  See more details below


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 them. Grégoire makes a point of spending each weekend with his family at their cottage in the country, but even then separating him from his cell phone is all but impossible, and Sylvia and the girls are reaching the end of their patience with Grégoire and his obsession with work. Though there's no question that Grégoire is devoted to Moon Films, he's kept a secret from Sylvia and his daughters about the state of the company, and it's not until a sudden, desperate act forces Sylvia into leadership of the company that they come to understand the real reasons behind his unrelenting schedule. Le Père de Mes Enfants (aka The Father of My Children) was an official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, where it was screened as part of the "Un Certain Regard" program.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
It takes a little while to get an emotional handle on Mia Hansen-Løve's contemporary drama The Father of My Children. The diffuseness seems somewhat appropriate, though, because it mirrors the disconnect of the main character, Parisian movie producer Grégoire Canvel (Louis-Dominique de Lencquesaing). Long ago, the mogul (who specializes in financially risky European arthouse films) partially severed emotional ties to those around him, including his devoted wife, Sylvia (Chiara Caselli), and his three loving daughters. Work now engulfs Grégoire -- to such a degree that when he whisks his family off on a luxurious vacation to the Italian countryside (more out of necessity than interest), he keeps his cell phone on, and spends the bulk of his time gabbing into it incessantly. On a more troubling note, Grégoire has lost touch with the lofty artistic ambitions that initially buoyed his production efforts. He spends his days immersed in deal-making and attempted financial wizardry -- attempted, that is, because a mountain of debt now towers over Grégoire and threatens to come toppling down and crush his production company, Moon Films. Grégoire's problem is that he has begun to pin his own sense of self-worth exclusively on professional success -- and when he reaches a point of no return, where the only logical steps are bankruptcy and liquidation, it represents far more than the poor fellow can handle, and sets the stage for overwhelming tragedy. The movie's impressiveness lies in the aplomb with which Hansen-Løve etches out the various phases of Canvel's self-deluded attitude and subsequent disillusionment, and the equally fine skill with which she shows the family coping with the aftermath of the tragedy. In the later phases of the film, she deftly balances psychological material -- persuasively wrought glimpses of Sylvia and her daughters' emotional struggles -- with the day-to-day impracticalities of the situation thrust onto the family. It is here that the movie falters, just slightly: a subplot about Sylvia's noble attempts to salvage Moon Films remains gripping and engaging (and commendably ends on a credible note), but another subplot that involves one of the daughters unearthing secrets from her father's past feels underdeveloped, and fails to even resolve itself. If Hansen-Løve is going to include this material, she should see it through to its logical conclusion instead of abandoning it midway. Fortunately, this represents a somewhat minor flaw, and it is one of omission, not ineptitude -- in the sense that we simply want to see more of the subplot about the daughter. This aside, the film as a whole demonstrates an intuitive understanding of the characters, their motivations, their limitations, and their personal growth, both individually and collectively. Furthermore, both Hansen-Løve's masterful direction and expert performances by the entire ensemble deeply enrich the material.

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Product Details

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Ifc Independent Film
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Louis-Dominique de Lencquesaing Grégoire Canvel
Chiara Caselli Sylvia
Alice De Lencquesaing Clémence
Alice Gautier Valentine
Manelle Driss Billie
Eric Elmosnino Serge
Sandrine Dumas Valérie
Dominique Frot Bérénice
Jamshed Usmonov Kova Asimov
Igor Hansen-Love Arthur Malkavian
Magne Havard Brekke Stig Janson
Eric Plouvier Attorney
Michael Abiteboul The Banker
Philippe Paimblanc Assistant Director of Laboratory
André Marcon Administrator

Technical Credits
Mia Hansen-Løve Director,Screenwriter
Pascal Auffray Cinematographer
Hélène Bastide Production Manager
Olivier Damian Producer
Bethsabee Dreyfus Costumes/Costume Designer
Olivier Goinard Sound/Sound Designer
Juliette Maillard Asst. Director
Philippe Martin Producer
Mathieu Menut Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Marion Monnier Editor
Raphaele Thiercelin Makeup
David Thion Producer
Vincent Vatoux Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Father of My Children
1. Opening Credits [6:05]
2. Say Something Nice [6:26]
3. Not In A Good Mood [6:11]
4. No Ordinary Chapel [6:12]
5. Put Your Card Away [6:10]
6. A Candle [6:34]
7. Kova's Distribution Deal [6:09]
8. Taking A Nap [5:54]
9. Going For A Walk [6:58]
10. Mourns The Death [6:26]
11. Let's Keep It [6:09]
12. Life On The Sly [7:36]
13. Good Luck [5:40]
14. Snooping Isn't Nice [7:18]
15. Movie I Mentioned [6:59]
16. Want To Flip It? [5:04]
17. What A Mess [5:14]
18. Ending Credits [3:45]


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