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J. P. Tannen takes his three children for a vacation cruise. They usually live with their mother and step-father, but now J. P. feels capable of taking them. Emotional tragedy strikes, causing battles parent against parent, and parent against child. J. P. tries to show his children that he loves them. Written by
Melissa Portell <email@example.com>
You'll miss the point if you dismiss this as another Lifetime soaper. There is authentic truth, feeling and heart in this film if you watch it from the top and stick with it. Table for Five is an intelligently paced and structured story both men and women will relate to. A failed divorced father (Jon Voight) has been replaced in the lives of his ex-wife and children by a more well-heeled step dad (Richard Crenna). The biological father (Voight) is allowed to take a two week Mediterranean cruise with his three pre-adolescent kids - the first time he's spent an extended period with them in four years. His failings as a father soon become apparent days into the cruise, but tragic events transpire that challenge him to ante up for his kids in ways he could never emotionally risk before.
A powerful film about fathering, Table for Five contains two of the ten best hours of Jon Voigt ever released on film - an outstandingly nuanced performance. The kids, especially Roxana Zal and Robbie Kiger are precociously honest actors. And dig the talent on the other side of the lens. Vilmos Zsigmond (Deer Hunter etc) is director of photography, Michael Kahn (editor on almost all Spielberg pix since Close Encounters) did the cut. The screenplay by David Seltzer (Lucas) gives the actors and the audience everything they could want from each character. Robert Leiberman's patient blocking and direction allows all the principal actors time to develop each scene. Professional all the way. A 9.5 out of 10, with only a half point deducted for a few somewhat slick TV-ish shortcuts in the production and a hammy helicopter dolly up. But, make no mistake. This one is not to be missed. Enjoy!
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