Watch A Father's Choice
- 1 hr 36 min
A Father's Choice is a 2000 made-for-television movie that stars Peter Strauss, Mary McDonnell, and Michelle Trachtenberg. The movie tells the powerful story of John's life, a successful lawyer, and a devoted father. In the beginning, John seems to have it all -- the perfect job, a beautiful wife, and a daughter who adores him. However, when John's daughter is diagnosed with leukemia, his perfect life is turned upside down. He is forced to make a difficult decision: take a high-paying job with a prestigious law firm or lose his daughter because he cannot afford her medical treatment. Despite his desire to be with his daughter during this difficult time, John decides to take the job, thinking it's the only way to provide for his family. As expected, John's new job demands a lot of his time, leaving him with little opportunity to spend with his family. Despite his absence, John remains committed to finding a cure for his daughter's illness. The plotting of the story is such that John can't afford the medical bills for his daughter, but happens to find a doctor who was researching an experimental treatment for the same disease. John tries to convince his wife that this was the right cure for their daughter, despite the reservations of the medical professionals in the traditional hospital. As the movie progresses, it becomes evident that John is struggling with his work-life balance, and his relationship with his daughter begins to suffer. John's wife is also stretched to her limits, having to act as a mediator between her husband and daughter. John and his wife disagree about the decisions they are making with regards to their daughter's treatment. Peter Strauss gives an outstanding performance as John, portraying him as a man who is torn between his work and his family. Strauss's portrayal of John is one of the highlights of the film. He brings depth and complexity to a character who could have been one-dimensional. Mary McDonnell also delivers a compelling performance as John's wife, showing how hard it is to be the mediator between her daughter and husband. Michelle Trachtenberg also shines in her role as John's daughter, Molly. She imbues the character with a sense of emotional maturity beyond her years. Trachtenberg succeeds in delivering an authentic performance, making her scenes with Peter Strauss all the more poignant. One of the most significant themes of A Father's Choice is the idea that fathers have to make tough choices for their families. John is aware of the fact that he is sacrificing his relationship with his daughter but, in his mind, he is doing it for her benefit. The movie hints at some of the social structures that make it almost impossible for single-parent families, but John's situation is an anomaly in that he is very much involved in trying to get his daughter the care she needs to survive. A Father's Choice is directed by Christopher Cain, who is no stranger to movies that tackle difficult issues. Cain does an excellent job of bringing out the emotional core of the story. He infuses the film with a sense of urgency and tension, elevating the movie from a predictable melodrama to a genuine tearjerker. The movie also benefits from a compelling script by David J. Hill. The story is well-paced, with moments of both levity and tragedy. Hill manages to pack a lot of emotional intensity into the film, without resorting to cheap sentimentality. In conclusion, A Father's Choice is a heart-wrenching drama that will leave audiences emotionally exhausted. This movie shows the difficult choices that parents have to make and how even when they try to do the right thing, the consequences can be dire. It is a powerful film that is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever struggled with the competing demands of work and family. The outstanding performances from Peter Strauss, Mary McDonnell, and Michelle Trachtenberg, coupled with Christopher Cain's tight direction, make A Father's Choice a must-see movie.