Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
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
Watermark
3 Star Empire Rating
They Came Together
3 Star Empire Rating
Attila Marcel
3 Star Empire Rating
Life Of Crime
3 Star Empire Rating
Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
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


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Video Interviews: The Stars And Directors Talk As Above, So Below
We talked to Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman and company about their underground horror…

The Future Of Film: All Big Blockbusters Will Be Shot At 48 FPS
Our month-long series begins discussing the innovations that will shape cinema

Video Interviews: Chloe Grace Moretz And Jamie Blackley Talk If I Stay
The stars, director R.J. Cutler and co-star Joshua Leonard talk YA adaptations

Gillian Robespierre And Jenny Slate Talk Obvious Child
Director and star on their acclaimed rom-com

The Empire Podcast #126: Jon Hamm Talks Million Dollar Arm, Mad Men And Beards
Plus Richard Ayoade pops in to talk about directing The Double

15 Of The Weirdest TV Cameos Of All Time
From Michael Palin in Home And Away to Ian McKellen in Corrie

Updated: The 36 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

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 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! 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  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)