For Mother’s Day we offered you a selection of movies about mothers and their children. No reverse sexists, we, in honor of Father’s Day, here are some movies that are good for sharing with Dear Old Dad.
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Workaholic ad executive Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman in a role that won him an Oscar for Best Actor) is shocked to learn his wife Joanna (Meryl Streep in a role that won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), is leaving not only him but their son Billy as well. The movie follows Ted’s efforts to learn to care for his son and then later his battle in court when Joanna returns wanting custody. Based on a novel and directed by Robert Benton the movie also won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and is number three on AFI’s list of top ten court dramas.
Field of Dreams (1989)
Corn farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) hears a voice telling him, “If You Build It, They Will Come,” which he takes to mean he should create a classic baseball diamond in the middle of the field so Shoeless Joe and the rest of the Black Sox can play ball again. Baseball though is only the medium for a story about a man trying to re-connect with his now deceased father. This classic 80’s tear jerker also features memorable turns by James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster. It was nominated for three Academy Awards; Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.
In the Name of the Father (1993)
Based on real events, young Irish delinquent Gerry Conlon (a fabulous turn by Daniel Day-Lewis) is coerced into a false confession for an act of terrorism (yep the current political parallels are very, VERY disturbing), which results not only in his false imprisonment but that of this father’s Guiseppe (the late and much mourned Pete Postlethwaite) as well. The movie takes liberties in having Gerry and Guiseppe sent to the same prison resulting in an unusual form of father-son bonding over the years. Also co-starring Emma Thompson as the Conlon’s lawyer and directed by legendary Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan, this powerful film received seven Academy Award nominations including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, and Best Picture.
Finding Nemo (2003)
The animated blockbuster from Pixar studios that prompted many children to misguidedly flush the family fish down the toilet to return them to the sea revolves around the over protective widower Marlin (Al Brooks) relationship with his rebellious young son Nemo, and his desperate attempts to find him after Nemo is taken away from the sea. It’s a heart-warming, family friendly tale with stunning visual storytelling and a fabulous supporting cast including Ellen Degeneres’s unforgettable fish Dory, Willem DeFoe as a wounded Moorish Idol, and Allison Janney as starfish Peach. Small wonder it easily took home the Oscar for Best Animated Picture.
The Descendants (2011)
In this comedy drama written and directed by Alexander Payne, Hawaiian land baron Matt King (George Clooney) struggles to re-connect with his two daughters Alexandra (Shailene Woodley in the role that kicked her career into high gear) and Scottie (Amara Miller) after his wife Elizabeth is injured and falls into a coma. He’s shocked to learn from Alexandra that Elizabeth was having affair at the time. It won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture-Drama and Best Actor-Drama for Clooney.