"Falling" is a poignant, character-driven drama written and directed by Viggo Mortensen, who also stars alongside Lance Henriksen and Laura Linney. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020 and was released in the United States in February 2021. At its heart, "Falling" is a family drama that explores the complex relationships between fathers and sons. Mortensen plays John, a middle-aged man living in California who visits his elderly father Willis (Henriksen) in the family's rural homestead in upstate New York. John is accompanied by his husband Eric (Terry Chen) and their adopted daughter Monica (Gabby Velis), while Willis is accompanied by his long-suffering wife Gwen (Hannah Gross). From the very beginning, it's clear that John and Willis have a strained relationship. Willis is a cantankerous, hard-drinking farmer who holds deeply conservative views, while John is a liberal artist who has moved far away from his roots. The tension between the two men is palpable, and it only grows worse as the film progresses. As the family navigates several days of awkward, uncomfortable interactions, we slowly learn more about their troubled history. Willis is clearly suffering from some form of dementia, which has made him even more irritable and unpredictable than usual. He also harbors a deep-seated resentment towards John, stemming from his son's decision to move away and pursue a different lifestyle. Meanwhile, John is grappling with his own demons, including a troubled marriage and a fraught relationship with his sister Sarah (Linney), who lives in Los Angeles. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn about the traumatic experiences that shaped John's youth, including the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. The performances in "Falling" are uniformly excellent, with Mortensen and Henriksen delivering particularly powerful turns. Mortensen is understated yet deeply affecting as John, while Henriksen is magnetic as the brutish and tragic Willis. The supporting cast is also strong, with Linney bringing nuance and depth to her role as John's sister. At its core, "Falling" is a film about the weight of family history and the enduring bonds that bind us to our loved ones, no matter how difficult those relationships may be. Mortensen tackles the material with sensitivity and grace, weaving together a tapestry of memories and emotions that feels both raw and authentic. The film is visually striking as well, with Canadian cinematographer Marcel Zyskind capturing the rugged beauty of upstate New York and the sun-drenched landscapes of Southern California with equal skill. From sweeping aerial shots of the countryside to intimate close-ups of his actors' faces, Zyskind's work is a potent expression of the film's themes. On the whole, "Falling" is a poignant and stirring drama that delves deep into the heart of human relationships. Mortensen's direction is deft and assured, and he draws affecting performances from his talented cast. If you're looking for a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant film, "Falling" is definitely worth a watch.