Florian Zeller, France, UK, 2022o
The life of successful New York lawyer Peter with his new partner and their baby is thrown off track when Peter's ex-wife rings his doorbell unexpectedly because she doesn't know what to do with their son: the 17-year-old is no longer the sunshine of his childhood years and wanders the streets alone instead of going to school. Peter takes the boy in and believes he can do everything to get him back on the road to success. But does he have the size to acknowledge that his son is different from him?
Playwright and screenwriter Florian Zeller expands his masterful directorial debut The Father into the second part of a planned trilogy about family relationships. He tells the story of a successful New York lawyer and runaway husband who has started over with a younger wife and baby when the ex-wife rings unexpectedly because she doesn't know what to do with the teenage son they share. The father takes the self-tormenting boy and notorious truant into his second family. From this exposition, Zeller develops a heartbreaking chronicle of paternal caring and guilty consciences wreaking havoc with the best of intentions. In short: the epitome of a human drama for which there are recognisable reasons and no real culprits. Fathers and mothers will hardly get through this film without a handkerchief; Anglo-Saxon critics, who like to see parental effort rewarded, are sore at the finale. But one exposes oneself to this cleansing of emotions with profit.Andreas Furler