Release Date: May 20th, 2005 (NYC-Angelika Film Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas), by THINKfilm.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary by Haskell Wexler who films his father to get a better understanding of him and to heal their broken relationship.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: There are a lot of amazing qualities that make this documentary entertaining. First of all, there is the father/son conflict which is very funny and even frightening at times. The cinematography is very good--which is not surprising because the son has experience with cinematography. There are a number highly-entertaining and surprising cameos by famous celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Michael Douglas, Paul Newman, Billy Chrystal, Milos Forman, and even Jane Fonda. All of these interviews are consistently fun to watch--and even funny at times. This would be a very boring documentary had Haskell Wexler just interviewed his father. The different perspectives make the film full of liveliness and pleasant surprises.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: The fact that Haskel Wexler cares enough about his father to film him and try to understand him is very touching and inspiring. There comes a time in everyone's lifetime that one must confront their past--and this documentary captures Haskel's confrontation. By the end of the film, he has definitely understood his father better--not completely, just better. It is not always a good idea for father and son to work in the same field because of their competitiveness. However, when they sit down to talk as maturely as they do in this documentary, they begin to realize that the acorn did not fall too far from the tree. That is a very heartwarming and enlightening message.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
THE BOTTOM LINE: A highly-entertaining documentary with a lot of surprises--including insightful, lively celebrity interviews and a very touching exploration of a complex (and competitive) father/son relationship. This would make a good movie to take your father to on any day--not just Father's Day!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "T" Menu