1.5 out of 5 stars (1.5 / 5)

A well-made ordeal.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t go to the movies to be put through a frustrating experience. But if that’s your thing, you’re in luck.

John Peterson (Viggo Mortensen) has brought his dementia-ridden father Willis (Lance Henriksen) out to California to look for a new home nearby himself and sister Sarah (Laura Linney). Memories of John’s life growing up with his Dad are inevitably brought back.

The cantankerous father has few redeeming qualities and John must put up with a barrage of insults and anger, often regurgitated due to his condition. This is a lesson in patience not only for John, but for the viewer.

I really wanted to like this because I’m a fan of Viggo Mortensen. He not only wrote, but directed this – his feature directorial debut. While there’s no denying that Falling is well-directed, and the acting is convincing, the story left me cold. It functions well for educational purposes – understanding what it’s like to deal with a parent suffering from dementia. Perhaps those who have gone through this themselves would appreciate it more. But I really wouldn’t be able to recommend it as enjoyable viewing.

Falling premieres in Sweden on 4 December.


Photograph © Nordisk Film

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