Father of My Children (Le père de mes enfants) (Palace Films Collection) (2009)
Interviews-Crew-Director Mia Hansen-Love (12.54)
|Year Of Production||2009|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Mia Hansen-Løve|
Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
Alice de Lencquesaing
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Father of My Children is really a film about family but, on the face of it, is a movie about the film industry. Far from the blackly comic The Player, nowhere near as introspective as Somewhere, this is a film about the little end of the industry.
French company Moon Pictures is no big Hollywood studio. It makes "small" films, often with new or challenging directors. Just because it is dealing in the millions, rather than the hundreds of millions, doesn't make the process of getting celluloid to screen any easier. The head of Moon, Gregoire Canvel (Louis-Do De Lenquesaing) is a man with a passion for making films. He has run the company on the smell of an oily rag for decades but even his remarkable enthusiasm and charm are reaching their limits. Legal and financial troubles are surrounding the company. The production lab is about to sue for non-payment of debts, a mad director is blowing out the budget of a film set in Sweden, some Koreans are turning up in Paris to start filming and Moon's back catalogue has been used as collateral with the bank. Even the unflappable Gregoire is feeling the strain. Fortunately, he has an oasis of sorts in his loving Italian wife Sylvia (Chiara Caselli) and their three gorgeous girls, two pre-teens and a teenager (played by the excellent Alice De Lenquesaing who was so good in Summer Hours). Even though he can't avoid taking mobile phone calls, even when on holiday with the family in Italy, Gregoire is a devoted and loving father.
Father of My Children follows Gregoire and his family as they go about their business. Unfortunately, any review of the film is cursed with the "Catfish Dilemma" i.e. there are plot developments so startling that it would be an unforgiveable sin to reveal any more. Suffice to say this is a strongly acted, well scripted film, carefully directed by Mia Hansen-Love. The director and Olivier Assayas are a couple and fans of Assayas' films will see a kindred spirit in this young, talented filmmaker. It won the Special Jury Prize at the last Cannes Film Festival and is a must-see for lovers of foreign cinema.
Father of My Children was shot on 35mm film and shown at the cinema at a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. That ratio has been preserved for this DVD release. It is 16x9 enhanced.
This is a good, sharp transfer of a recent French film. The colours are stable and accurate. There are no technical problems with the transfer. The grain is light and there are no artefacts, except in the extracts shown of some of Moon Pictures’ low budget catalogue.
There are subtitles in English for this French language film. There are a few scenes where the characters are surrounded by people speaking languages they cannot understand. These are not translated.
Father of My Children carries two French language Dolby Digital soundtracks - one a 5.1 running at 448 Kb/s and the other a 2.0 running at 224 Kb/s.
Both tracks adequately convey the dialogue that dominates this film. All the speech can be heard clearly and there are no problems with audio sync. The 5.1 track is preferable for the higher bitrate but ultimately there is not much happening in the surrounds or on the sub-woofer to make it essential. Still, not a bad track.
Any film that opens with Jonathan Richman's Egyptian Reggae can't be bad. There is no score as such but the second half of the film has a guitar theme and some old songs (Que Sera Sera and others).
|Surround Channel Use|
The DVD of this film has only two extras.
There is a decent length interview with the director in which she gives some insight into production of the film. She talks about the role of the government of France in supporting cinema and some of the history of the project. She has only directed a couple of films but here’s hoping there are many more to come.
A short trailer with spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This DVD has also been released in Region 1 with similar specifications. In fact it also contains an interview with Mia Hansen-Love, albeit with a different interviewer and a different hair colour! Might as well buy the Region 4.
Father of My Children is, as hinted above, a difficult film to say too much about because of plot turns. Those who like French cinema will not be disappointed if blind purchasing.
The video and sound of the DVD are pretty good and there is a nice extra in the form of an interview.
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|