The Good Father

Watch The Good Father

  • R
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 6.3  (651)

The Good Father is a powerful and emotional drama from 1985, directed by Mike Newell and featuring an outstanding cast led by Anthony Hopkins, Jim Broadbent, and Harriet Walter. The film tells the story of a man named Bill (Hopkins), who is struggling to cope with the aftermath of his divorce and the alienation of his relationship with his young daughter, Lizzie.

Bill is an intellectual and successful lawyer of middle age, who used to be a devoted husband and father but now finds himself alone and bitter. He blames his ex-wife, Margaret (Walter), for their separation and is unable to connect with Lizzie, who seems to prefer spending time with her stepfather, Eric (Tim Pigott-Smith), a kind and affable man who tries to bridge the gap between Bill and his daughter.

As Bill's frustration and loneliness grow, he starts to question his identity and his purpose in life. He embarks on a journey of self-discovery, which involves exploring his past, his values, and his relationships. Along the way, he meets several people who challenge his assumptions and provide him with insight into his own psyche, including his friend Roger (Broadbent), a jovial and open-minded artist who encourages Bill to embrace his emotions and his creativity.

The Good Father is a deeply affecting and nuanced portrait of a man's struggle with his own masculinity and his role as a father. It explores themes of love, loss, and identity with sensitivity and intelligence, offering a nuanced view of what it means to be a parent in a society that often values success and achievement over emotional connection and empathy.

The film is anchored by Anthony Hopkins' superb performance as Bill, who conveys a complex mix of vulnerability, anger, and despair with remarkable subtlety and depth. Hopkins captures the inner turmoil of a man who is torn between his desire to be loved and his fear of rejection, his yearning for intimacy and his reluctance to expose his vulnerabilities. He is supported by an exceptional supporting cast, including Harriet Walter, who brings depth and complexity to her portrayal of Margaret, and Jim Broadbent, who infuses Roger with warmth and humor.

The Good Father is also notable for its visual style, which combines naturalistic scenes of everyday life with dreamlike sequences that amplify the psychological impact of the story. The film frequently employs flashbacks, fantasies, and subjective camera angles to convey Bill's mental state and his memories, creating a rich and immersive visual experience that mirrors the complexity of the film's themes.

Overall, The Good Father is a remarkable cinematic achievement that explores the intricacies of human relationships with nuance, depth, and compassion. It is a moving and thought-provoking portrait of a man's struggle to find meaning and purpose in his life, and a reminder of the importance of empathy, understanding, and emotional connection in our relationships.

The Good Father
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  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (651)