Father of My Children (2009) Poster

Father of My Children (2009)

  • Rate: 6.8/10 total 1,033 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 16 December 2009 (Belgium)
  • Runtime: 110 min
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Father of My Children (2009)


Father of My Children 2009tt1356928.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Father of My Children (2009)
  • Rate: 6.8/10 total 1,033 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 16 December 2009 (Belgium)
  • Runtime: 110 min
  • Gross: $1,061,292(Worldwide)(12 July 2011)
  • Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
  • Stars: Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Chiara Caselli and Alice de Lencquesaing
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Producer | Debt | Play | Film Producer | Italian

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Mia Hansen-Løve  screenplay

Known Trivia

    Plot: A film producer struggles with suicidal despair. Full summary »  »

    Story: In the first half, Gregoire, a movie producer of great charm, owner of Moon Films, plays with his younger daughters, talks with his wife and his eldest daughter, and keeps his studio going while one project hemorrhages money and creditors circle. In the second half, Sylvia, his Italian wife, tries to hold the family together as she looks fully into Moon Films' troubles. She meets with a banker, a temperamental Swede, Russian TV magnates, a film lab exec, and Moon's lawyer. Clémence, the oldest daughter, goes on her own search. Debt can crush; how does a family pick up the pieces?Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>  


    Synopsis: Gregoire Canvel has everything a man could want: a wife he loves, three delightful childrenand his dream job – he is a film producer. Discovering talented filmmakers and developingfilms that fit his conception of the cinema, free and true to life, is precisely his reason forliving.Gregoire devotes almost all of his time and energy to his work. Although he spends weekendswith his family at their house in the country, even these precious moments are regularlyinterrupted by demanding directors and concerned investors.While Gregoires very presence commands admiration, and his exceptional charisma leadmany to believe he is invincible, the future of his prestigious production company, MoonFilms, is in doubt; too many productions, too many risks, too many debts. Storm clouds aregathering, and Gregoires realisation that he may have made one gamble too many will triggera series of events that will change the lives of his family forever.


    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Rémi Burah known as co-producer
    • Oliver Damian known as producer
    • Philippe Martin known as producer
    • David Thion known as producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Louis-Do de Lencquesaing known as Grégoire Canvel
    • Chiara Caselli known as Sylvia Canvel
    • Alice de Lencquesaing known as Clémence Canvel
    • Alice Gautier known as Valentine Canvel
    • Manelle Driss known as Billie Canvel
    • Eric Elmosnino known as Serge
    • Sandrine Dumas known as Valérie, l'assistante de production
    • Dominique Frot known as Bérénice, la directrice de production
    • Antoine Mathieu known as Frédéric, le comptable
    • Igor Hansen-Løve known as Arthur Malkavian
    • Elsa Pharaon known as Colette, la secrétaire
    • Olivia Ross known as Anja, la stagiaire
    • Jamshed Usmonov known as Kova Asimov
    • Cori Shim known as Ji Hong, la cinéaste coréenne
    • Yejin Kim known as La traductrice
    • Philippe Paimblanc known as Le directeur adjoint du laboratoire
    • Magne-Håvard Brekke known as Stig Janson (as Magne Håvard Brekke)
    • Eric Plouvier known as L'avocat
    • Michaël Abiteboul known as Le banquier
    • André Marcon known as L'administrateur
    • Valérie Lang known as Isabelle, la mèr de Moune
    • Guy-Patrick Sainderichin known as Le liguidateur
    • François Soulas known as Le gendarme
    • Ludovic Bergery known as Le comédien de 'Sang versé'
    • Manuel Schapira known as Le chef-opérateur de 'Sang versé' (as Manuel Shapira)
    • Raphaël Chevènement known as Le réalsateur de 'Sang versé'
    • Coralie Fraoua known as La réceptionniste de CinéCrédit
    • Joan Monnier known as L'étalonneuse
    • Lorenza André known as La soeur de Grégoire
    • Michaël Sarfati known as Le frère de Grégoire
    • Morgane Masselot known as Amie de Clémence 1
    • Bérénice Renaud known as Amie de Clémence 2
    • Geoffroy Canalda-Saigne known as Fils d'Isabelle
    • Mathieu Senocq known as Fils d'Isabelle
    • Arnaud Merlet known as Copain du fils d'Isabelle
    • David Hedrich known as Stagiaire Moon Films
    • Rémi Boiteux known as Stagiaire Moon Films
    • Romain Bno known as Stagiaire Moon Films
    • Alka Balbir known as Commérage
    • Hélène Bastide known as Commérage
    • David Blot known as Commérage
    • Yoko Lacour known as Commérage
    • Juliette Mallon known as Commérage
    • Laurent Perrin known as Commérage
    • Elena Butas known as Serveuse bar
    • Peter Von Poehl known as L'assistant de Stig (voice)
    • Harald Leander known as Michael, un assistant de Janson
    • George Binder known as Boris, un producteur russe
    • Georgi Staykov known as Georgi, un producteur russe
    • China Åhlander known as China, la conductrice suédoise
    • Pascal Wibe known as Un assistant suédois
    • Anna Diehl known as Une assistante suédoise
    • Lyang Kim known as Femme équipe coréenne
    • Juncheol Kim known as Femme équipe coréenne
    • Yang-Hee Kim-Aumont known as Femme équipe coréenne
    • Heekyung Kwon known as Femme équipe coréenne
    • Junghyan Oh known as Femme équipe coréenne
    • Hyenou Seo known as Femme équipe coréenne



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Raphaële Thiercelin known as key makeup artist

    Art Department:

    • Toma Baqueni known as property master




    Production Companies:

    • Les Films Pelléas
    • 27 Films Production (co-production)
    • arte France Cinéma (co-production)
    • Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC) (participation)
    • Canal+ (participation)
    • CinéCinéma (participation)
    • Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA) (participation)
    • Centre Images – Région Centre (support)
    • Cinémage 3 (in association with)
    • Cofimage 20 (in association with)
    • Programme MEDIA de la Communauté Européenne (support)

    Other Companies:

    • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix


    • Les Films du Losange (2009) (France) (theatrical)
    • France Télévision Distribution (2010) (France) (DVD)
    • Artificial Eye (2010) (UK) (theatrical)
    • Benelux Film Distributors (2009) (Belgium) (theatrical)
    • Benelux Film Distributors (2010) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
    • Crest International (2010) (Japan) (theatrical)
    • Distribution Company (2010) (Argentina) (theatrical)
    • Farbfilm-Verleih (2010) (Germany) (theatrical)
    • IFC Films (2010) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
    • Palace Films (2010) (Australia) (theatrical)
    • Alambique Destilaria de Ideias Unipessoal (2010) (Portugal) (all media)
    • Film1 (2011) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
    • Lighthouse Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
    • Mongrel Media (2010) (Canada) (DVD)
    • Teodora Film (2009) (Italy) (all media)



    Other Stuff

    Release Date:
    • France 17 May 2009 (Cannes Film Festival) (premiere)
    • France 29 June 2009 (La Rochelle Film Festival)
    • France 5 July 2009 (Paris Cinéma)
    • Canada 12 September 2009 (Toronto International Film Festival)
    • Greece 18 September 2009 (Athens Film Festival)
    • Brazil 25 September 2009 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
    • Belgium 7 October 2009 (Namur Film Festival)
    • South Korea 12 October 2009 (Pusan International Film Festival)
    • UK 19 October 2009 (London Film Festival)
    • Brazil 23 October 2009 (São Paulo International Film Festival)
    • France 10 November 2009 (Arras Film Festival)
    • Belgium 16 December 2009
    • France 16 December 2009
    • Sweden January 2010 (Göteborg International Film Festival)
    • Ireland 5 March 2010
    • UK 5 March 2010 (limited)
    • Argentina 12 March 2010 (Pantalla Pinamar Festival)
    • Argentina 18 March 2010 (Les Avant-Premieres – Cine francés)
    • Hong Kong 22 March 2010 (Hong Kong International Film Festival)
    • USA 25 March 2010 (New Directors/New Films)
    • Netherlands 1 April 2010
    • Argentina 8 April 2010
    • USA 28 April 2010 (San Francisco International Film Festival)
    • Germany 20 May 2010
    • USA 21 May 2010 (Los Angeles, California)
    • USA 22 May 2010 (Seattle International Film Festival)
    • USA 28 May 2010 (New York City, New York)
    • Japan 29 May 2010
    • Italy 11 June 2010
    • Greece 17 June 2010
    • Portugal 14 October 2010
    • Hungary 3 March 2011
    • Spain 6 May 2011



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .


    1. guy-bellinger (guy.bellinger@wanadoo.fr) from Montigny-lès-Metz, France
      30 Mar 2012, 1:42 pm

      Seeing "Le père de mes enfants" you would think that itswriter-director, Mia Hansen-Løve, is in the last part of her career,that she has gone through the ups and downs of a long life, has madepeace with it and is now able to contemplate the world with wisdom andunderstanding. And you would be totally wrong. Mia Hansen-Løve was onlytwenty-seven when she made this profound film.

      She took her inspiration from two real-life models, Humbert Balsan, abrilliant film producer who took his life at the age of 51 when herealized he would go bankrupt, and Donna Balsan, his wife, who, for allher grief, did her utmost to save Ognon Pictures, her husband'scompany, after his death. But mind you, this is no straight biopic. Forinstance, the names have been changed; Grégoire Canvel (the screenequivalent of Balsan) has three kids instead of two; the way he killshimself is different; Bela Tarr, the Hungarian director Balsan hadtrouble with at the time of his death, has become Stig Janson, aSwedish helmer; and so on… Even Mia Hansen-Løve herself, who is part ofthe story, is represented indirectly, by Arthur,a young film maker thatGrégoire wants to produce but finally can't ( a reference to "Tout estpardonné", Hansen-Løve's former film, whose production was taken overby Pelléas Films after Balsan's suicide). Oddly enough, Arthur happensto be interpreted by Igor Hansen-Løve, Mia's own brother. Sure, "Lepère de mes enfants" is not the exact telling of the life of one of themost original producers of French cinema, but it is very close toreality and perhaps even closer than if it was a mere biopic, sincewhat Mia Hansen-Løve tries to do is to capture the essence of a man'ssoul, not only to piece facts together.

      To achieve this end, the writer-director divides her story into twodistinct parts. The first one presents Grégoire in his professional aswell as in his family life, both tending to intermingle to the despairof Sylvia, Grégoire's wife. The long opening sequence during whichGrégoire uses his mobile phone whatever the place he is in is explicitin this respect. At his country house on the weekend, Grégoire is theloving father of three delightful daughters and Sylvia's faithfulcompanion. At his Paris office he is an industrious man, theenthusiastic, tireless, staunch defender of auteur film-making, whetherFrench or foreign. But money troubles become more and more insistent,preventing him from indulging his passion serenely. The documentaryaspect is excellent: the account of the way the small productioncompany works day after day is very realistic without being boring. Butinteresting as this part is, it would not be enough to make "Le père demes enfants" something else but a good film. What makes it reallyoutstanding is the second part in which Mia Hansen-Løve explores theconsequences of Grégoire's suicide on his nearest and dearest and onhis collaborators. And she does it with a truly magic touch. She firstvery intelligently disposes of the set pieces of the discovery of thecorpse and of the funeral. Instead, she directly cuts to the deepsorrow experienced by Grégoire's wife and daughters, the feeling ofunacceptable loss, of resentment against the deceased who abandonedthem. Then she shows how the characters evolve, slowly coming to termswith the situation, gradually realizing that Grégoire's life has beenso rich, has brought them so much that he is now part of them, thatwhat he accomplished in the artistic domain before committing suicidehas not disappeared. They know now that his spirit will go on living,through his films, through the persons they have become thanks to him…

      A sad story but which does not make you sad in the end, for MiaHansen-Løve doesn't take morbid delight in the evocation of death andthe damages it causes. On the contrary, it is life she pays a tributeto when she films wonderful scenes of family life with or withoutGrégoire, often in a sunny atmosphere. In the end, we get thecomforting feeling that arrogant Death finally admits defeat.

      The actors, although practically unknown, are very convincing. Louis-Dode Lencqueseing is fascinatingly close to his model and to his naturalcharm. His own teenage daughter Alice de Lencquesaing, who playsGrégoire's oldest daughter, is simply wonderful, displaying a wealth ofunaffected beauty and hypersensitivity. Alice Gautier and ManelleDriss, who play her little sisters, are full of life, and ChiaraCaselli, in the difficult role of Gregoire's wife, rings truethroughout.

      Florent Dudognon, who reviewed "Tout est pardonné", Hansen-Løve's firstfeature on Evene on 30-7-2007, used the following terms to qualify thefilm: "touching, sensitive, sweet, unmarred by pop psychology crap,played with restraint". I guess he will not change a word if hecomments on "Le père de mes enfants", a moving picture you must notmiss on any account.

    2. hotgalstephy from Australia
      30 Mar 2012, 1:42 pm

      In response to previous reviews, commenting on this movie's failure tolive up to its so- called "roller-coaster of emotions" hype, I agree.Happily.

      This movie is not an edge of your seat, thrill at every corner, emotionjerker- and that's what makes it superb. Hansen- Løve binds this movieto a sense of realism which i find translates perfectly to itsaudience, and relates to its audience. The movie illustrates Grégoire'sprogression towards suicide, and the life for the family he leavesbehind, in a non- appeasing, human way. Grégoire's story may notprovide the audience with explanations, excuses or a nice dramatic leadup to his death. Scene by scene, the audience is given mixed messagesfrom Grégoire, leading us to feel unprepared for his sudden death. Butthat is suicide, in its realest form. And Hansen- Løve has successfullytranslated this feeling from the Canvel family to the audience.

      In justification of the so called "pointless" scenes, a scene samplingthe relationship between the elder daughter and the writer boy who metwith Grégoire, or another sampling the elder daughters pursuance of herhalf brother, is completely adequate. The daughter is rebuilding herlife after Grégoire's death, which cannot be shown to us in a detailed,flowing, coherent way- because that is not the way she is living it.The broken, inconsistent scenes of the elder daughter's, the youngerdaughters' and the wife's lives, are shown to the audience in the sameway they are lived by the characters.

      The scenes prior to Grégoire's death, however, construct a solid imageof the emotional bond and unity of the 5 members of the Canvel family-scenes such as a giggling Valentine being discovered by Grégoire,hiding in his bed, or Billie floating alone in the pool of water, beingwatched over by her mother.

      I think in order to profit from this movie, the audience's expectationsshould be shifted from a "rollercoaster ride of emotions" kind ofmovie- complete with drama, coherence, and a relevant, easy to followplot- to that of a sincere expression of life as it is, and how itcontinues- captured on film. In this respect, it is superb.

    3. gradyharp from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 1:42 pm

      Yes, this space is dedicated to the sale of a movie poster for themagnificent film 'Le père de mes enfants' (THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN)but likely the film spot will surface very soon: this is on of thoseforeign films that enters quietly, gently urging audiences to noticehow fine the product is. So despite the fact that the film is currentlyin theaters and will soon be released on DVD, this serves as a wake-upnotice to film lovers everywhere.

      Young Writer/Director Mia Hansen-Løve has created a story loosely basedon a real situation that manages to examine the central aspect offamily love: 'the defeat of death, the victory of life'. GrégoireCanvel (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) is a producer in the film industry,an auteur who is devoted to quality films. As a producer he has severalfilms in varying stages of production (including one in Sweden directedby a difficult genius who has little respect for cost containment) andthe financial aspects of his Moon Films is in rocky terrain, despitebeing surrounded by a staff devoted to his vision and going without paybecause of their commitment. At the same time Grégoire is a devotedhusband to his wise wife Sylvia (Chiara Caselli) and to his threedaughters – the oldest being the sensitive Clémence (a stunningportrayal by young Alice de Lencquesaing), Valentine (Alice Gautier)and Billie (Manelle Driss) – taking country walks with them and beingwholly involved with their family activities, despite the fact that heis constantly on the cellphone managing the tragedies that abound atwork. It is apparent that everyone who comes into contact with Grégoirefeels the special gifts he has – except for the lawyer and creditors hetries to avoid. The financial sinkhole opens and Grégoire, in despair,commits suicide. The story actually begins here, as the point of thefilm is how each of the people who came under Grégoire's influence -co-workers, wife and children, and friends – responds to the loss ofthis man. There is not the usual breast-beating grieving, but rather aquiet study of how each of these people is affected by and reacts tothe passing of a solitary genius by suicide. The film is definitely onethat is life affirming rather than an extended eulogy!

      The entire cast is excellent, with special kudos to the children aswell as to Eric Elmosnino who plays a rock bound friend to the familyand the director's brother Igor Hansen-Løve whose small part as ahopeful writer is richly detailed. This may be too early a time tojudge the talent of Mia Hansen-Løve, but if she is able to maintain thequality she achieves in THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN, she has an excitingfuture in cinema. Highly recommended.

      Grady Harp

    4. bandw from Boulder, CO
      30 Mar 2012, 1:42 pm

      (Spoilers) This meditation on a suicide left me somewhat unsatisfied.It is the story of Grégoire Canvel, a successful French movie producer,and his family. The first part of the movie introduces us to the Canvelfamily: Grégoire, his wife, and three attractive young daughters. Thereare scenes that illustrate the great affection that exists among allmembers of this family, like Grégoire playfully searching for hisyoungest daughter who is hiding under the covers in her bed.

      We are led to believe that Grégoire is a typical, harried businessmanwho spends most of his life on his cell phone. However, as the movieprogresses it is seen that Grégoire's company is in some seriousfinancial trouble and his business is on the verge of bankruptcy. Hintsare dropped that Grégoire himself may be in some deep emotional waters.All of this is well and good and I waited to find out the resolution tothis unfortunate situation, but I was not prepared for Grégoire'sabrupt suicide about half way through the movie. Indeed his suicide ismystifying since Grégoire's family life is so positive. I wanted moredetails on the motivation for the suicide–could it have simply beenthe financial problems as implied? That seems too simple anexplanation. Grégoire is seen burning some documents before ending hislife; what were those? Why was the audience denied knowing this, sincethat could have helped in understanding the suicide. Grégoire mentionedthat as a last resort he could tap into his wife's monies. He neveracted on that. Why was that? Was it even a possibility?

      The second half of the movie details the family's reaction toGrégoire's fatal act. This part of the movie plays out in a believablyrealistic way. Grégoire's wife Sylvia tries to finish up the projectsthat her husband had underway at the time of his death. If she hadsubstantial financial reserves, she did not use those to accomplish hergoals. Each of the three girls copes in her own way–life goes on.

      In the end I felt like a voyeur dropping on in this family's tragedyand I had to question the value of the movie. It was not a warning topay closer attention to the emotional state of others, since I thinkthat there was no way that Sylvia could have guessed the gravity ofGrégoire's mental state. Maybe an admonition that people should be moreforthcoming in communicating what they are thinking? On average inFrance there are three male suicides for every female suicide. Doesthis movie help in understanding that statistic?

      The movie is well filmed and the actors are in good form. As a bonusthere is a small travelogue of Parisian scenes as Grégoire drivesaround Paris. But I was left wanting more.

    5. mmunier from Australia
      30 Mar 2012, 1:42 pm

      I feel that being only the 4th person to evaluate this film is a littledaunting, but what the heck. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, wellstaged in my birth city, and now I live in Sydney Australia it's alwaysa bonus to get a free trip! Beside this fact I did really like the waythe characters' acting did not look like they were acting and so lookso natural. I did not realise this was taken from true events but donot feel it does matter anyway. It's just a story of someone who hasdreams and works very positively towards them despite the increasingimpossibility of success to the point there is no return. Despair anddepression are the winner to the shocking final towel trow. The rest ofthe livings are trying to cope and pick the pieces but in vain, atleast for the pieces as the movie gets you to believe that despiteeverything life goes on… you could say this actually is acontradiction in term! I was a little annoyed about the music score inthe beginning, rather loud and not flattering, perhaps I missedsomething, and I also must have missed something with the ending songthat did not work very well for me, I found it rather inappropriate,but my friends disagreed with me so there you are, each person mayrespond in different way.

    6. bon22 from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 1:42 pm

      This film gave me the kind of experience I hope for when watchingFrench movies: A character driven, intimate story, which so involved methat I feel as if I'd been away on a trip to France. The performanceswere authentic & lean. The scenery, both interior shots of apartments &buildings, as well as exterior shots of street life, made me feel as ifI was in Paris. I was engrossed as to how the characters reacted to theheavy subject matter & how the story line progressed. The film hasgreat depth without feeling heavy.

      A reviewer here on IMDb commented about how they didn't like the sceneswhich were not driving the story line, but for me, that's what I loveabout (some) French Cinema: a character walks from point A to point Bor a character orders coffee while awaiting an important appointment.These connecting scenes are the stuff of real life & enable the viewerto identify with the character. Everyone experiences those mundanemoments & knows what it feels like.

      Except for the main character Gregoire, I did not judge the reactionsof the other characters: I simply observed their reactions to theserious events that befell them.

      The final scene was darkly humorous: Doris Day sings "Que Sera, Sera"as the characters flee Paris, leaving behind the life they had loved.

    7. ihrtfilms from Australia
      30 Mar 2012, 1:42 pm

      This film has been well reviewed, described as a 'roller-coaster' andemotional, so I was prepared for something quite heavy. However some 30minutes in, nothing much had happened. The film centers around Gregoirea husband, father and workaholic who runs a film production companythat is facing massive financial issues. In between continuous phonecalls and business meetings, Gregoire spends time with his family, attheir apartment or at the house in the country. The family seem veryclose and content, but away from this Gregoire is in crisis mode.

      The start of the film plays outs very slowly, but there is a sense thatsomething tragic will happen. Of course it does, but the effect is lessthan I would expect. Gregoire's death devastates those around him andhis wife is left to pick up the pieces. What should be an emotional,er, roller-coaster fails to engage on an emotional level because whilewe see Gregoire is up against life, there is no indication that life isso bad that suicide is the answer. There is also no shock element tohis death, Gregoire burns some papers then walks along and shootshimself and it all seemed unrealistic.

      The film also struggles as there is an immense array of pointlessscenes: the elder daughter sitting in a cafe ordering a coffee, thefamily walking around a church in Italy. All of these scenes addnothing except to drag out the story which after the death introduces asecret child and a friendship between the elder daughter and a youngman who was to work with her fathers company. Neither of these storiesare explored in any detail and so add nothing to the film either.

      It's a shame that for me the film didn't engage. There are some niceperformances, especially from the daughters and the scenes of thefamily are actually quite endearing. What a loss then that apotentially interesting and emotional story set inside the world offilm making is nothing but slow and a little boring.

      More of my reviews at iheartfilms.weebly.com

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