Cast: Jim Broadbent, Colin Firth, Juliet Stevenson, Gina McKee, Sarah Lancashire, Elaine Cassidy, Claire Skinner, Matthew Beard
Director: Anand Tucker
Screenplay: David Nicholls
Rated: M Mature themes, Infrequent coarse language
Released: 31 July 2008
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Between Every Father And His Son There Is A Story To Be Told
When Arthur Morrison (Jim Broadbent) is diagnosed with terminal cancer he has only a few weeks left to live. His son Blake (Colin Firth) travels to Yorkshire to stay with his mother Kim (Juliet Stevenson) in the village where he grew up. He visits his father at the hospital where he had spent so much time with his own patients as a GP. As his father's condition worsens, Morrison contemplates their shared experiences, the intimacies and the irritations of their relationship. After his father's death Morrison regrets the nature of their relationship and their failure to understand each other.
After learning of his father's terminal illness, middle-aged writer Blake Morrison travels to his childhood home to visit his father one last time. Blake is conflicted over his feelings for his father with flashbacks used to show his childhood, his relationship with his father and the degree to which various events shaped him.
Jim Broadbent gives a compelling and standout performance as Arthur Morrison, a remarkable GP who 'performs' his way through life, often humiliating those he loves. Upon his deathbed, he becomes a different person which causes Blake to wonder when he last saw his father as he truly was. Colin Firth is reserved yet engaging as Blake who is falling to pieces emotionally whilst dealing with his father's imminent death. He searches for answers to some of his father's indiscretions that he witnessed as a child, distancing himself from his wife as he struggles. Juliet Stevenson is steady as Kim, Arthur's wife, who ultimately admits the truth about her relationship with Arthur. Matthew Beard has plenty of positive qualities to offer as he has much screen time as the teenage Blake.
As the movie progresses, there is a feeling that there will ultimately be some kind of showdown with Blake and his father. There are unresolved issues that need to be addressed that Blake needs in order to move forward but solving them becomes tougher the closer Arthur comes to death.Based on the bestselling memoir by Blake Morrison, 'When Did You Last See Your Father?' is a touching and insightful journey of a father and his son that will probably make you contemplate the title question yourself.
Rating : ***