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|Originaltitel:||Fathers & Daughters|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 116 min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
New York, 1989: The successful writer Jake Davis (Russel Crowe) tries everything to be a good father to his little daughter Katie (Kylie Rogers) after the death of his wife. However, the tragic loss is extremely severe for Jake and soon he sees no other way out than to go into psychiatric treatment. Meanwhile Katie comes into the care of her aunt Elizabeth (Diane Kruger) and her uncle William (Bruce Greenwood). When Jake is released after a few months, he has to fight another hard fight, this time for Katie's custody. Although his health is getting worse and worse, Jake fights like a lion for his daughter and writes a book on the side that will be his greatest success. But this intensive time also leaves its traces on Katie, with whom she still has to struggle 25 years later as a trained psychologist (Amanda Seyfried)…
With "Fathers and Daughters" Gabriele Muccino ("Striving for Happiness", "Seven Lives") once again presents a great emotional cinema. No question about it, the story is not exactly original and full of clichés. If the adult Katie is to take care of a little girl who hasn't spoken a word since the death of her parents, then it is clear from the first moment that there will be this one moment when the girl will speak to Katie. And this comes exactly at the point where every spectator will expect it. The staging is full of such predictable elements. These are so obviously used to stimulate the audience's tear ducts that it could be called manipulative. Russel Crowe's game can also be described as a bit overdone, at least in the moments when he has to struggle with his seizures. Subtlety really isn't the movie's strength.
And yet the touching father-daughter story works very well at the end - at least if you have a penchant for kitschy Hollywood cinema. There are many scenes between Jake and little Katie that just go to your heart and could cause some tears - also because of the background music. And when you then see how this time in her life has affected the adult Katie, then that is quite rousing - predictable and constructed, but rousing. One wishes the young woman that she can leave the past behind her and become happy with the sympathetic Cameron ("Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul).
Some characters are drawn very superficially. The aunt played by Diane Kruger, for example, is such a large collection of clichés that she is almost a caricature. And also with other characters like the flippant publishing agent with a heart of gold (Jane Fonda) you get the feeling that you already know her from countless other movies. But Muccino's production doesn't even try to hide this high recognition value and the manipulative use of kitsch moments. With a good ensemble, beautiful pictures and moving scenes he tells a really nice story, which entertains and touches despite all weaknesses. And for this there is then contrary to all justified criticisms at the end also a proper one: Worth seeing!
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