Father of My Children (‘Le Père de Mes Enfants’)

DRAMA; 1hr 49min (French with subtitles)

STARRING: Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Chiara Caselli

Breaking point: de Lencquesaing

Film producer Grégoire Canvel (de Lencquesaing) is in perpetual motion and perpetually on the phone. En route from Paris to his country house where his Italian wife (Caselli) and three daughters (Alice de Lencquesaing, Manuelle Driss and Alice Gautier) are waiting, he takes call after call, chain-smokes, then loses his licence for speeding. And that’s just the beginning. He has the dishevelled hair and slender frame of a boy but Grégoire is anything but carefree. Each day is a Tilt-a-Whirl ride as he implodes financially. “I have too much going on,” he says with epic understatement.


The first half of writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve’s exploration of a man going under prickles with thriller-scale tension. The second half is the scale of the reckoning. Taken together, the two diverse stories form a jigsaw of action and reaction. If there’s a moral, it’s that whether we like it or not, necessity will carry us forward. But the shifts and layers of this intimate unveiling are not so easily categorised.