Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: The January Sale!
Try 3 issues of Empire magazine for just £1
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Miranda Otto
Matthew Macfadyen
Emily Barclay
Colin Moy.
Directors
Brad McGann.
Screenwriters
Brad McGann.
Running Time
126 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Zulu
3 Star Empire Rating
Two For The Road
3 Star Empire Rating
Thief
4 Star Empire Rating
Sirius
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
EMPIRE ESSAY: When Harry Met Sally
5 Star Empire Rating
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating

In My Father's Den
Comparisons to Lantana will be inevitable, but this antipodean drama stands solidly on its own merits.


submit to reddit


Plot
After the death of his father, restless war reporter Paul Prior (MacFadyen) returns to the small New Zealand town he left 17 years ago. While there, he builds up a close relationship with Celia (Barclay), the teenage daughter of his ex-girlfriend, who he suspects could be his daughter.


Review
The prodigal son returning home to face the repercussions of his departure... The sleepy town with dark and closely guarded secrets... The key plot elements of Brad McGann's debut have often been used, yet he smartly exploits our familiarity with them to play with our preconceptions and take his assured movie in surprising new directions.

His handling of chronology is particularly skilled, taking us both back and forward in time as the small-town tale slowly unravels. Rather like another recent Antipodean hit, Lantana, this is equal parts mystery and human drama, putting strong characterisation and psychological realism first: the mystery is so involving simply because the people involved are so fascinating and well-drawn.

McGann has skilfully updated Maurice Gee's 1972 novel, with the addition of Patti Smith's music being an inspired touch. Sadly, though, the novel's greatest weakness - its melodramatic climax - is left intact, and proves an unfortunate departure from the previously understated tone. But this is a small gripe, as McGann proves to be an outstanding new talent, In My Father's Den also boasting some gorgeous photography and excellent performances from MacFadyen and Barclay.


Verdict
An impressive debut - director Brad McGann reveals great skill and bravery in the way he brings the story's insular world to life.


Reviewed by Nick Dawson

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for In My Father's Den
Empire Star Rating

Very good use of flash backs and unravelling of events made this a gripping watch. I think Miranda Otto's character was underused and seemed a little redundant. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Schlamper at 10:41, 17 January 2006 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
20 Sitcoms Spin-Offs That Were Doomed To Fail
From Joey to Ally and back again…

Jessica Chastain Takes The IMDbunker
The Most Violent Year star takes our most random quiz

Five Impressive Oscar Isaac Roles You Didn't Realise Were Oscar Isaac
Welcome to Oscar season...

Johnny Depp And Paul Bettany Talk Mortdecai
How good is your 'Mortdecai face'?

Fables: A Primer
An introduction to Bill Willingham’s wonderfully dark fairy-tale world

12 Hitchcock Remakes Ranked From Best To Worst
Lifeboat in space, anyone?

From Mission: Impossible To Mortdecai: Writer/Director David Koepp Talks Screenwriting
What would you do if you were in charge of the Spider-Man franchise?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)