Father of My Children

Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Year Released: 2009
Rating: 3.5

A movie producer, art-lover and devoted dad (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) slides down that ugly spiral of depression, starting with his losing his driver's license (a loss of "freedom") to being placed in a severe financial bind because he owes the film lab millions of Euros, he has a brilliant but rogue director who's running over-budget and he refuses to liquidate his own company (or sell off pictures in his catalog). The film shifts gears midway through, dividing it into two distinct but interwoven parts: the first is about the pains of trying to create art (and develop artists) in a day where it's all about revenue and about the refusal to live a life plagued by compromise; the second part of the film is about a family's pulling together to try to salvage a loved one's life and finding the little secrets that we will all (inevitably) leave behind. The 'split' is a bit jarring and the picture doesn't quite recover from the sudden departure of its tragic hero, but that doesn't stop it from continuing to address key life issues: like Assayas' Summer Hours, it transforms into a touching meditation on what we leave behind when we're gone, be it an artistic body of work (a catalog of movies - some good, some bad) or even several lovely children, who could care less about the films and would just like their Dad back.