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When Did You Last See Your Father?

Much more than a Lifetime Movie for Men
By CHRIS WANGLER  |  June 11, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars

Based on the acclaimed memoir by English poet and critic Blake Morrison, WDYLSYF is supposed to be about the mid-life angst of a man (Colin Firth) who feels “cheated” by his terminally ill father (Jim Broadbent). But a subtle performance by Broadbent, who is selfish, kind, deluded, and charming all at once, makes this thoughtful film much more than a Lifetime Movie for Men. In flashbacks, a teenage Blake (Matthew Beard) grapples with his dad’s extramarital affair, which prevents him, years later, from seeing his father “in the fullness of his being.” Respecting the tone of the memoir, director Anand Tucker (Shopgirl) slows down the proceedings by including some scenes better left in the book, but his focus on compromise and memory over pre-fab, end-of-life resolutions is realistic and powerful. Fans of British film will recognize some favorites (Gina McKee?) in the supporting cast. 92 Minutes | Kendall Square

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