I chose Our Father because I've been wanting to watch a movie featuring Chicago actor Brian King. A trailer for this one caught my eye, though he appears in only one scene.
The Premise Of Our Father
In the days after their father's death, two young women learn that they have an uncle who was never mentioned to them before.
Their father's other family, which includes their half brothers and their father's ex-wife, offer the sisters little comfort or connection.
Confused and distraught over their father's suicide and feeling isolated and alone, the two sisters go in search of this mysterious uncle.
What I Liked
- The story gradually reveals what's happening and why, as well as the characters' back story, leaving viewers to put the pieces together in a way I found fascinating.
- The dialogue is the best I've ever heard in a movie. It has the feel of real life but never drags or includes extraneous lines.
- All the conflict arises from the story and characters–there are no forced or faked conflicts just to move the plot along.
- The sisters are three-dimensional characters who aren't simply there to sort out how they connect to the men in their lives. While the sisters talk about their father, brothers, boyfriends, and uncle, they also talk about work, school, hope, the lack of hope, and what they want in their lives. And the most important relationship is the one between the two of them.
- I loved that the ways women constantly deal with and navigate around men's feelings (particularly feelings of entitlement or inadequacy) is shown repeatedly, yet the film never feels like it is hitting viewers over the head. A few of the examples were dealt with so quickly, almost as asides, that I didn't grasp this theme until thinking over the film later.
- The challenges of forging emotional connections and dealing with adulthood while feeling unprepared for it felt very real and raw.
What Didn't Work As Well
- I love Chicago, which is ostensibly the setting, as the city and a few addresses are mentioned. I'm always excited to see my home city depicted in film, TV, or novels. But for whatever reason, the locations weren't recognizable as Chicago. (It might have been filmed in part during the pandemic, and perhaps the lack of traffic threw me off.)
- There were moments of humor that felt a bit slapsticky or goofy and jarred me a bit. Overall, though, the dark humor worked well.
Four and a Half Stars (Of Five)
This is one of the best films I've seen in a very long time. I give Our Father 4.5 stars for very believable, compelling characters, genuine conflict that drives plot and character growth, and themes that made me think for days.
At least right now, it's available free if you have Amazon Prime. (Click here to check it out.)
Lisa M. Lilly
P.S. To read last week's look at the horror/comedy/coming of age film The Final Girls click here.
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