Father Ferris' successful packaging business earns his family a luxurious life on a splendid country estate. However, an incurable disease daily diminishes him, then kills him. In complex scenes from several points in time, we observe his three kids forced to grow up fatherless, Jack explicitly being appointed to step into his father's shoes. When his mother decides to marry Clive Lamis, Jack resents and resists, but is too young, so finally moves out and proves himself a business talent worthy of his father. At Jack's 21st birthday, his mother finally gets him to attend a grand garden party in his honor, before he leaves for China indefinitely. Yet things work out surprisingly, as family ties entangle them still. Written by
I went to see this film because I'd heard about it from a friend of mine who worked on the production. Apparently the producers completely re-cut the film to make it more 'commercial' and as a result the director walked away during post-production and asked to have his name removed.
Apparently the director's cut is a totally different film, and I'd be very interested to see it because there are moments in this version that are kind of impressive. The film has an underlying intelligence and you get a sense that the director was trying to achieve something ambitious and different. The writing is confident and subtle and the film has a bold narrative structure. On the downside, some of the editing is quite sloppy and the whole film is marred by a terrible score.
Taking the film at face value, I'd have to say that it was boring at times but also intermittently intriguing. Some of the chronology didn't cohere as you felt it should and yet some of the narrative juxtapositions were beguiling. My balanced assessment is that the film reaches for a unique, dreamlike atmosphere and sometimes it succeeds.
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