How I Killed My Father

Released 2001


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How I Killed My Father

Movie Summary

Anne Fontaine
How I Killed My Father is a French film that tells the story of one family's relationship with a long-estranged father. Jean-Luc (Charles Berling) has achieved great success: he is an accomplished, anti-aging doctor with a beautiful wife and financial security. One evening, during a party honoring Jean-Luc's life-work, his father, Maurice (Michael Bouquet), shows up after decades of being away. Maurice stays with Jean-Luc for several days, coldly observing and criticizing everything about his son's seemingly perfect life. Jean-Luc resents his father for abandoning the family all those years ago and tries to keep his emotions suppressed. Jean-Luc is forced to confront these feelings when the family dynamic changes, and his wife (Natacha Regnier) and brother (Stephane Guillon) form bonds with Maurice. Upon confronting his feelings, Jean-Luc allows all the hate for his father to come pouring out. His existence has been completely shaken by his father's return, and Jean-Luc must cope with his own family's fondness for the old man and his own personal hatred. How I Killed My Father takes Jean-Luc's story and exposes the complex and emotional relationships between an abandoned son and a long-estranged father.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Truly, there can be nothing as complex as the simplest human relationships, and nothing as satisfying as a film that understands that as this one does.

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Not about murder in the literal sense, although that seems a possibility. It is about a man who would like to kill his father, and who may have been killed spiritually by his father.

  • 40

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    A kind of murder mystery, but eventually the only victim is the audience's interest -- the picture is uncompromising and inauspicious.

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Foreign Language