I had to study this film at school for English and was dubious when the teacher first announced it. However after watching it and subsequently re-watching it, I found that this movie is about as close to perfection as you can on a New Zealand film budget. Brilliant performances from all the cast, fantastic Central Otago scenery and a gripping story combine together to make a masterpiece. Worthy of more than 5 stars.
This film is about the ways in which the past influences the future; the ways in which we never escape our past, only learn to live with it. Mostly set in the present, In My Father's Den travels backwards and revisits past events and the influence they now have over characters' lives. The film's main characters all live with grief, unwittingly inflicted upon their lives by the weaknesses and decisions of those they trusted. It is a film about facing and confronting the past head-on and living with its consequences. In My Father's Den is a dark film, chilling in its denouement, beautifully directed and realised. I have seen it 5 times now, each time I see something I had not seen in previous viewings, it is a film that has stayed with me. The cast is well chosen and performances excellent, especially those of central characters Matthew McFadyen and Emily Barclay. The Otago landscape deserves special mention as does the film's soundtrack, both are gorgeous and complement the story perfectly.
Paul (Macfadyen), a prize-winning war journalist, returns to his remote New Zealand hometown due to the death of his father, battle-scarred and world-weary. For the discontented sixteen-year-old Celia (Barclay) he opens up a world she has only dreamed of. She actively pursues a friendship with him, fascinated by his cynicism and experience of the world beyond her small-town existence. But many, including the members of both their families (Otto, Moy), frown upon the friendship and when Celia goes missing, Paul becomes the increasingly loathed and persecuted prime suspect in her disappearance. As the violent and urgent truth gradually emerges, Paul is forced to confront the family tragedy and betrayal that he ran from as a youth, and to face the grievous consequences of silence and secrecy that has surrounded his entire adult life.
- Audio Commentary
- Behind the Scenes
- Featurette: Possom Short Film
- Teaser Trailer
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.85 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
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