Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fatherhood in Film

Rewatching There Will Be Blood recently reminded me of some of my other favorite films about fatherhood:

  • Paris, Texas
  • The Squid and the Whale
  • Bicycle Thieves
  • Finding Nemo
  • To Live
  • Knocked Up
  • The Royal Tenenbaums
  • Children of Men
  • The Spider Stratagem
  • The Godfather
  • The Incredibles
  • The Sopranos

This is a mixed-up list, but I think it helps to show the range and complexity with which fatherhood is dealt with on screen. Fatherhood is something both honorable and terrible; Darth Vader stands right next to Atticus Finch. Motherhood is rarely afforded the same kind of full view, even though the discourse about it is far more copious.

What other great (note: not necessarily positive) treatments of fatherhood are there, especially unexpected ones?


Rachel said...

Tim Burton's Big Fish! one of my favourite films of all time. Though I suppose in Big Fish, woven into the theme of fatherhood is the ambiguous relationship that storytelling has to truth, which makes it that much more interesting.

Tim said...

You know, I've never actually seen Big Fish, which is a shame -- as much as I love Tim Burton, I love Albert Finney even more. I shall have to add that one to the list.

jess said...

Monsoon Wedding has a great example of fatherhood on screen – it shows how the father acts with his daughter, who is about to be married, and with his younger son as well. It's interesting to pick up on differences between how he treats them. Very great movie for other reasons, too.

Stefan Lanfer said...

Hard to beat It's a Wonderful Life.