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(aka "Le père de mes enfants" )

 

directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
France/Germany 2009

 

The poignant, startling French film “The Father of My Children” opens with a whoosh of activity. A financially struggling independent-movie producer, Grégoire Canvel (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing), is driving through Paris, trying to keep the different parts of his life in play....

“The Father of My Children” is a tale of cinema, a story about the agonies of trying to work outside the cinematic mainstream (even in France!). Yet what makes the movie so affecting is that it’s also a love story about a family. Throughout the film, acquaintances and advisers urge Grégoire to sell his film catalog to save his company. He refuses, insisting that if he does, there will be nothing left. Of course he’s wrong, as Ms. Hansen-Love’s repeated and heartfelt images of his daughters and wife forcefully insist. For the film’s first hour, Grégoire, who’s made expressively real by Mr. de Lencquesaing’s understated magnetism, fills the story with excitement. And then he just disappears, a formally bold move that might have emptied out the film if Ms. Hansen-Love hadn’t already filled it with such feeling.

Excerpt of review from Manohla Dargis located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 16th, 2009 (Belgium)

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye (Spine # 487) - Region 0 - PAL

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Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:46:12
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.86 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Mia Hansen-Løve (15:57)
• Other Artificial Eye Trailers

DVD Release Date: June 21st, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Mia Hansen-Løve's "The Father of My Children" was a wonderful discovery. Although I knew a little of the film going in, it was mostly off of my radar and I doubt that I would have ever caught up with it if it weren't for the Artificial Eye disc that I was sent. Thankfully, they've recently released this near masterpiece in a gorgeous region free edition. As the above description states, the film tells the story of a struggling film producer whose company is overshadowed by its constant lack of funds. As many of the reviews online state, the film takes a rather shocking twist about half way through, but one that never feels unnatural or forced. If you haven't seen the film but would be interested in checking it out, then I would strongly recommend it.

The image on the disc is about as good as could be hoped for, for a film released theatrically just last year. The picture is consistently sharp and clear, without any hint of damage in the anamorphic frame. Colors are vibrant here, and the contrast is good. Like the other AE discs that I've recently reviewed, my software identifies the transfer as interlaced, but I can't find any evidence of combing or other distortions. Overall, it's a very lovely image, and one that looks quite good when in motion.

 

Like some of their other recent releases, the disc gives you the choice between Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1 sound tracks, and there's no doubt that the 5.1 track is the obvious choice. But, neither track has any obvious problems (i.e. background noise like pops, clicks, etc.) and the two respectively sound up to par with the best 2.0 and 5.1 tracks out there. The disc also comes with optional English subtitles that are easily read.

Aside from a batch of trailers for other Artififical Eye releases ("Summer Hours", "Cache", "The Beat That My Heart Skipped", and "A Girl Cut in Two"), there's an interview with the film's director that clocks in at slightly under 16 minutes. Here Hansen-Løve discusses the origins of the film, it's making, the stars, etc.

This is a really great film and one that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone. Do yourself a favor and be sure to see it. The AE disc is an ideal way to catch it at home. If you're the least bit curious, then take the plunge. I give it a very high recommendation.

  - Brian Montgomery

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 0 - PAL

 




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