What would we do without our fathers? The protection and strength that they give us. The life lessons they bestow upon us. The dad dancing that never fails to amuse us. The hero we see him as. In film, the father figure is celebrated and revered in all manner of iconic characters. Here are the top 10.
They frustrate us, tease us, love us, protect us (sometimes too much) and teach us important life lessons, particularly the embarrassing ones that our mothers can’t seem to. Though fathers come in all shapes and sizes, their influence over us is something that shapes us regardless, and the idea of The Father is something that has been explored through film time and time again. Here are the top 20 films about fathers.
Finding Nemo – 2003
The story of Marlin the clownfish and his quest to find his missing son Nemo is one of the most moving tale of a father’s love to have screened. Having won the 2004 Oscar for Best Animated Feature, ‘Finding Nemo’ is a tale of family, innocence, adventure, bravery and a lesson that you’re never too old to experience something new. It stars the voice of Albert Brooks, Alexander Gould, William Dafoe, and Ellen DeGeneres as the unforgettable Dory.
To Kill a Mockingbird – 1962
Robert Mulligan’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s acclaimed book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ outshone all competition at the 1963 Oscars, picking up 3 awards, including Best Actor for Gregory Peck. It tells the story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in Depression-era South, who is living two worlds; one in which he is defending a black man against undeserved rape charges and another in which he is a father trying to protect his children against prejudice. One of the finest films ever made.
The Tree of Life – 2011
A story about a family in 1956 Texas that sees their eldest son struggling with his parent’s conflicting teachings. We follow the life journey of Jack from the innocence of childhood to his confusing adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father played by Brad Pitt. Visually stunning as it is moving Terrence Malick’s film was nominated for 3 Oscars.
Kramer vs. Kramer – 1979
Ted Kramer has just divorced from his wife and is learning how to raise his son by himself. As things start to make sense he then finds himself in a court battle to keep custody of his son. Starring the incredible Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, this film picked up 5 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Tissues at the ready.
The Lion King – 1994
Learning children scarred for life all over the world, Disney’s masterpiece ‘The Lion King’ tells the story of Simba, a young lion who has been tricked into thinking he caused his father’s death, a burden which has stopped him from reaching his potential and his destiny to become king. With the help of his friends, who finds himself once more and returns home only to discover that his former pride needs him. Never has a father and son film broken so many hearts.
Meet the Parents – 2000
Ever been worried about your overly protective father and how he might react to new lovers? Well, ‘Meet the Parents’ made your worst nightmares come true and we see Ben Stiller’s character Greg Focker terrorised by his future wife’s father Jack Byrnes, a former CIA agent with a lie detector in the basement, played by Robert De Niro. A classic comedy.
Bicycle Thieves – 1948
Vittorio De Sica’s beautifully devastating tale of a man and his son searching for a stolen bicycle vital for his job is as groundbreaking as it is heartbreaking. The sense of helplessness is overwhelming at times, but the few moments of joy break the tension, a scene in a pizzeria for example. Its main actors Lamberto Maggiorani and his son, played by Enzo Staiola, will leave you breathless of emotions. An incredible film.
Big Fish – 2003
How tall are your father’s tales? Something that is faced by a son as he tries to learn more about his dying father, reliving his stories of fantastical proportions with him. This heartwarming film teaches us that sometimes the most bumbling of stories are actually sown with truth, and that is exactly what Ed Bloom’s son Will discovers. Finding it hard to separate the man from the myth, Will soon realises that all is exactly what it seems.
He’s Got Game – 1998
Spike Lee’s tale of a father’s knowledge failing to hit home with his son is a powerful one. It’s about Jesus Shuttlesworth, the most sought after high school basketball prospect in the nation whose father, Jake, is in jail convicted with the killing of Jesus’ mother. However, if Jake can convince his son to play basketball at a certain college, his sentence will be shortened. It stars Denzel Washington, Milla Jovovich and Ray Allen.
Interstellar – 2014
Not only one of the biggest films of our time but also one of the most tender and fraught father and daughter stories ever told. A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space hoping to secure humanity’s survival but in reality, this huge film is the tale of a daughter who needs her father. The relationship between Matthew McConaughey and Makenzie Foy is electric and so touching. A must see. It won the 2015 Oscar for Best Achievement in Special Effects.
Source: Swide: by Ben Taylor