When Did You Last See Your Father?
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When Did You Last See Your Father?

3.7 4
Director: Anand Tucker

Cast: Colin Firth, Juliet Stevenson

     
 

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Adapted from poet Blake Morrison's best-selling memoir by screenwriter David Nicholls and directed for the screen by Anand Tucker, And When Did You Last See Your Father? explores -- like its source material -- the complex, manifold emotional layers of a father-and-son

Overview

Adapted from poet Blake Morrison's best-selling memoir by screenwriter David Nicholls and directed for the screen by Anand Tucker, And When Did You Last See Your Father? explores -- like its source material -- the complex, manifold emotional layers of a father-and-son relationship as it shifts and evolves over the passing decades. At the film's center is Blake Morrison himself, who for as long as he can remember has lived in the overarching shadow of his physician father, Arthur (Jim Broadbent) -- falling prey to feelings of embarrassment from the old man, as well as occasional awe. In the 1950s, when Blake (Bradley Johnson) was a child, the boy watched as Arthur partook in socially uncouth behavior such as wheedling his way into clubs to which he didn't belong, and carrying on an extramarital affair with the full knowledge of his wife, Kim (Juliet Stevenson). As the years passed, teenage Blake's (Matthew Beard) discomfort around his father hardened into resentment -- particularly when the adolescent boy expressed interest in a girl, Rachel (Carey Mulligan), who clearly preferred his father; compounding the situation, Blake then had to suffer through Arthur's decision to publicly humiliate his son in front of everyone. The central dynamic has changed for the two, however, by the late '80s, when Blake -- now married to Kathy (Gina McKee) and freshly established as a successful novelist and poet -- learns that Arthur has contracted terminal cancer. Now, the junior Morrison takes a headfirst plunge into the memories and recollections of his youth -- and grapples with the dynamic of his relationship with Arthur for the first time in his life as he comes face to face with the need to provide loving care for the old man.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
In his previous film, Shopgirl, director Anand Tucker found gloominess in nearly every interaction between Steve Martin and Claire Danes, resulting in a tone that ranged from melancholy to downright lugubrious. The gravitas is still there in When Did You Last See Your Father?, but it feels germane to the material this time, both more organic and better earned. In the hands of Tucker and the two stars, Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent, poet Blake Morrison's memoirs take on a powerful universality. It's not the details of the complicated relationship between father and son that will resonate most with viewers, since those are particular to Morrison. Rather, it's Morrison's ability to identify the generational fractures that can prevent any parent and child from saying what they mean to say, in the earthly time available to say it. As the title suggests, this film is about the attempt to see family members as humans, and toward that end, Firth's Blake reexamines a dozen formative experiences that hardened him against his father, which he's now trying to view in a different light. Not only is he not totally succeeding in that mission, but he's also losing the chance to have a cathartic moment with his weakened parent, who's bedridden, and operating at a diminished capacity. This is undoubtedly the right choice by screenwriter David Nicholls, who recognizes that people are often shortchanged on that front, and the best they can do is reach acceptable resolutions within themselves. But the film also contains flashbacks to more recent times, when we learn, from a simple twinkling of Broadbent's eye, that there's not only peace between them, but love. Tucker has made a film both of great sentiment and great restraint, and this balance leaves us feeling the opposite of emotionally manipulated.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/04/2008
UPC:
0043396261624
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:32:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Commentary with Director Anand Tucker; Deleted Scenes

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jim Broadbent Arthur Morrison
Colin Firth Blake Morrison
Juliet Stevenson Kim
Gina McKee Kathy
Elaine Cassidy Sandra
Claire Skinner Gillian
Matthew Beard Blake
Justin McDonald Actor
Sarah Lancashire Actor
Barrington Pheloung Conductor

Technical Credits
Jim Broadbent Director
Anand Tucker Director
Howard Atherton Cinematographer
Christine Blundell Makeup
Laurie Borg Co-producer
Lizzie Francke Executive Producer
Caroline Harris Costumes/Costume Designer
Priscilla John Casting
Elizabeth Karlsen Producer
David Nicholls Screenwriter
Alice Normington Production Designer
Barrington Pheloung Score Composer
Tessa Ross Executive Producer
Gary Smith Executive Producer
Trevor Waite Editor
Paul White Executive Producer
Kate Wilson Executive Producer
Stephen Woolley Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- When Did You Last See Your Father?
1. Chapter 1 [3:51]
2. Chapter 2 [3:03]
3. Chapter 3 [1:16]
4. Chapter 4 [3:10]
5. Chapter 5 [2:24]
6. Chapter 6 [3:15]
7. Chapter 7 [2:29]
8. Chapter 8 [5:56]
9. Chapter 9 [4:10]
10. Chapter 10 [4:20]
11. Chapter 11 [4:42]
12. Chapter 12 [3:22]
13. Chapter 13 [2:42]
14. Chapter 14 [4:35]
15. Chapter 15 [2:24]
16. Chapter 16 [3:42]
17. Chapter 17 [2:07]
18. Chapter 18 [3:53]
19. Chapter 19 [1:31]
20. Chapter 20 [2:57]
21. Chapter 21 [3:32]
22. Chapter 22 [3:16]
23. Chapter 23 [2:03]
24. Chapter 24 [3:09]
25. Chapter 25 [2:06]
26. Chapter 26 [3:25]
27. Chapter 27 [1:55]
28. Chapter 28 [6:27]

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When Did You Last See Your Father? 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
Based on an autobiographical memoir by Blake Morrison WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE YOUR FATHER? is a finely wrought exploration into the delicate issues that both separate and bind fathers and sons. It is difficult for viewers whose fathers are gone not to relate to the profound tenderness and at times difficult reminiscences of their own relationships that remain as both warm and haunting dreams. David Nicholls' adaptation of Morrison's book stresses the character development of both father and son (and the rest of this British family) allowing us to understand the dilemma that faces the main character as he is asked the question that forms the title of this film.

Blake Morrison (Colin Firth) is happily married to Kathy (Gina McKee) and is a successful writer/poet who is preparing to receive an award for his contributions to literature. Present at his ceremony is his father Dr. Arthur Morrison (Jim Broadbent) who is a unique egomaniac whose personality traits affect everyone around him - both positively and negatively. After Blake's acceptance speech his father cannot even manage to say 'well done', instead furthers his comments about Blake's silly decision not to go into medicine and strive instead for the poor life of a writer. A medical emergency tosses Arthur into the hospital, he is diagnosed with terminal cancer: the remainder of the film is a series of vignettes of Blake at his father's bedside accompanied by his mother Kim (Juliet Stephenson) coupled with flashbacks to Blake's childhood (Matthew Beard plays Blake as a teenager) memories that contain moments of confusing father/son incidents as well as Blake's long standing loathing of his fathers affairs with other women such as 'Aunt Beaty' (Sarah Lancashire) and others. As Arthur falls more deeply toward dying, Blake attempts to confront his father with his lifelong perceptions and grievances and the manner in which Blake comes to grips with his feelings for his father completes this film.

Director Anand Tucker orchestrates this story beautifully, blending the gorgeous English countryside with just the right timing between momentary flashbacks and flash forwards to make this film flow and glow with nostalgia. The musical score by Barrington Pheloung wisely incorporates a lovely rendition of Bellini's 'Casta diva' from 'Norma', Bach's G Minor Piano Concerto, and a Schubert trio, which add a timeless dimension to the mood of the film. Jim Broadbent brings off this challenging role with great artistry, as does Colin Firth with his role as Blake. But then the entire cast is well selected from some of England's finest actors. This is an emotional film, a film that will touch men especially, but will also bring resonance with women. Grady Harp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The performances are quite fine in this moving and thoughtful film. There is some strong language and some sexual situations that are inappropriate for young viewers -- and the material itself is for adult viewers -- but I recommend it to the age-appropriate. It's an excellent exploration of a son's coming to understand his dying father's life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago