LIFE WITH MY FATHER (LA VIE AVEC MON PERE)
Sebastien Rose's sophomore effort, a humorous relationship drama with a captivating ensemble cast, charmed many at the 40th Karlovy International Film Festival where it recently won the Audience Award.
Paul Agira, a bohemian writer, ekes out a meager existence in his father's dilapidated house. Occasionally, he pilfers drug samples from his brother Patrick, a straight-laced pharmaceutical executive, to sell and utilize recreationally. Suddenly, their prodigal father, Francois-the writer of a single remarkable novel, a renowned philanderer and oenophile-returns impotent and in dire financial straits. The dichotomous brothers set out to renovate his house and sell it for him. Patrick is left to do the brunt of the work, while Paul struggles to write his first novel. When Francois is diagnosed with a terminal illness, his sons' varying methods for coping threaten to drive a deeper wedge between them. But their father has a few final lessons for them in the art of living.
Addressing themes of estrangement and reunion, Rose strikes the proper balance of bitter and sweet in this story about the bonds between men who are unafraid to be gentle and sometimes hedonistic.