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Like Father (2001)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 24 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

A feature drama exploring the lives of a grandfather, father and son, as they come to terms with the post-closure landscape of East Durham.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ned Kelly ...
Arthur Elliot
Joe Armstrong ...
Joe Elliot
Jonathon Dent ...
Michael Elliot
Anna-Marie Gascoigne ...
Carol Elliot
Derek Walmsley ...
David Hylton
Willie Ross ...
Brian Hogg ...
Ashley Gutsell ...
Peter Dougherty ...
Jay Foulds ...
Garry Everist ...
Jackie Surtees ...
Joe Jones ...
John Reid ...
Amber Styles ...


Like Father portrays a family in crisis, focusing on the dislocations of grandfather, father and son. Pigeon man Arthur Elliott, a 70 year-old whose working life in the pit gave him a strong sense of identity and pride, is losing his allotment to the local authority's coastal redevelopment scheme. Working as a trumpet player, a teacher and a club singer, as well as running an agency for club acts, 40 year old, ex-miner, Joe Elliott can just about scrape a living out of his music, but he is losing his wife. 10 year old Michael Elliott, who is living with the pit village folklore and the wreckage of the coal industry, is left to grapple with his own realities. Each of the three generations is struggling to come to terms with the past and find the ties that bind them. The three separate, but essentially integrated worlds, unfold against the rich and extraordinary backdrop of East Durham's landscapes and locations. It is the second film in Amber's coalfield trilogy. The Scar (1997) ... Written by Amber Films

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12 September 2002 (Germany)  »

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User Reviews

A good, well-meaning character study of male family relationships
5 April 2014 | by (US) – See all my reviews

A nice, well intended film about three generations of men in a hardscrabble northern English seaside town. The grandfather is a curmudgeon who races pigeons and refuses to sell his land to developers, feeling it will undermine the soul of the town (probably quite rightly). His son is a good hearted middle aged man, a music teacher who spends spare time teaching special needs kids. He's also a talented composer, and is commissioned to write a piece to celebrate the town's rebirth (the same re-birth his father is holding up) -- leading to conflicts between the father and son.

Meanwhile between his teaching, composing, helping others, and some drinking his wife and bullied son get little of his time or attention, leading to problems at home.

The acting is mostly good, but the flash-backs feel a bit heavy handed, and the whole thing is a bit familiar, and lacking in subtlety. It's not at all a bad film, just a little thin, which in turns leaves the heavy moments coming off a bit melodramatic.

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