Fathers and Daughters – Film Review by Frank L.
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Writer: Brad Desch (screenplay)
Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul, Ryan Eggold
Jake Davis (Russell Crowe) is a Pulitzer prize-winning novelist. He has a wife and a daughter Katie (Kylie Rogers); while driving them, he has a blazing domestic row which contributes to the crash in which his wife is killed. He suffers certain injuries and as a result becomes liable to uncontrollable fits. He goes to a psychiatric hospital and his wife’s sister (Diane Kruger) and her lawyer husband look after Katie. Jake is obsessed by Katie but when he is released from hospital, after a seven month stint, his sister-in-law and husband think that it would be best for Katie if they continued to bring her up. Relations between them fracture.
The film cuts to when Katie (Amanda Seyfried) has grown up and finding her way in life. She has qualified as a psychologist and her speciality is children who have been deserted. The film cuts back and forth between Katie’s childhood with Jake and her present professional and personal life as a twenty something year old. In the childhood sequences, in hospital, Jake had written a novel “Bitter Tulips” which was slated by the critics when it was published. He is chronically short of cash. He is also in a far from good mental state. He is trying to write a new novel. His personal and professional collapse is sliced with Katie’s career as a good looking twenty something year old. She has developed a taste for anonymous sex with young men whom she has known for less time than it takes to swallow a beer. She then luckily meets Cameron (Aaron Paul), a budding writer, who tries to understand Katie and her past. It is a relationship with its ups and downs needless to say.
All of this activity takes place in a well-heeled, well-dressed milieu in New York where public acclaim and monetary success is the staple diet. Notwithstanding the glitterati of the supporting actors including Jane Fonda and Diane Kruger the most impressive performance is that of Kylie Rogers as the young Katie. It is her performance which continues to resonate after having left the cinema. The rest becomes somehow lost in its own super-glossy magazine sheen.
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