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Rated 3.07 stars
by 109 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Tenderness and Tears
by Betty Jo Tucker

Tearjerkers come; tearjerkers go.

And waterworks begin to flow.

Fathers & Daughters fits this bill.

Thinking of it, I’m crying still.


The story plays such tricks with years.

Both past and present ripe with tears.

A father’s love, a daughter’s care.

Tragedies and emotions bare.


Russell Crowe owns his daddy role.

He makes this man show lots of soul.

A writer pining for his wife

while facing illness in his life.


Crowe and the girl who plays his child

share tender scenes my memory filed.

Lovely together, they stand out

and steal this film, there is no doubt.

Fathers & Daughters boasts an extraordinary story, and I became deeply involved with its appealing main characters. But the film bounces back and forth between past and present way too much. That approach takes my mind out of the movie, which then causes me to start talking to myself. “When is this taking place? Is it the past or present?” Not a good sign, folks. I like to be immersed in the movie, not confused by it. Also, it seems like an important part of the story is missing. First we see the father (Crowe) and daughter (Kylie Rogers) together when the daughter is a darling little girl, and then we see the daughter as an adult (Amanda Seyfried). What happened during the missing time period?

Still, the amazing rapport between Crowe and Rogers comes across as something very special indeed, so to pan Fathers & Daughters would be almost as bad as telling a five-year old that Santa Claus died. Their impromptu “Close to You” duet is priceless! Here’s hoping Rogers makes many more movies while she’s a youngster. This little actress is a real charmer. And Crowe brings his immense talent to a role that’s both emotionally and physically demanding.

The first part of the movie deals with efforts by Crowe’s character to keep his little girl despite his illness and financial problems. He’s not only mourning the loss of his wife but also trying to continue his writing career, one that has been successful in the past. He even won a Pulitzer Prize. The rest of the film concentrates on his adult daughter and her problems. Fortunately, Seyfried turns in an excellent portrayal of a woman who fears love.              

Bruce Greenwood, Diane Kruger, Jane Fonda, Quvenzhané Wallis, Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul round out the strong supporting cast. Plus, the cinematography and background music add to the film’s emotional pull, and -- other than the time bounces -- Gabriele Muccino’s caring direction (working from Brad Desch's involving  screenplay) impressed me. 

There are no car chases, super heroes or explosions in Fathers & Daughters. Just lots of bravery, tenderness and tears.          

(Released by Vertical Entertainment and rated “R” for sexual situations.)

For more information about this movie, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.   

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