This is where the characters' journeys start, for our protagonist it's a search for a way of forgiving his father, his path is ridden with the verbalizing of a ton of words unsaid too long and energetic arguments, as the audience gets sucked in further and further the - in the beginning only skin-deep - dramatic tension mounts. The picture uses it's runtime skilfully, the development of the 'original' characters occupies nearly all scenes, once in a while the director permits us a small pause to catch our breath and reflect upon what just went on. The new generation (children Christopher and Leslie) clearly are being presented to us as a reincarnation of Michael and his young ante Jane, of who it's fair to say they grew up close enough to almost be brother and sister - the unmistakable physical resemblance alone says enough. The only significant difference is the nature of fathers, they have the luck of having a loving, gentler father who unfortunately is away a lot on business, where as Michael's father is the hard, domineering type, the kind of father who maybe loves his family a little too much to be healthy for him, or his family for that matter.
Herein eventually lies the human quality of the character and the redemption. Hereby we can wholeheartedly accept - even though it appeared not to be true for a very long time - Michael forgiving his father, which culminates in a catharsis-classic: the burning of his newborn baby book in the fireplace, and we can even rejoice in Michael regaining personal freedom.
Now, for those who are not convinced the father deserves being forgiven, that's not really the core of it all. The point is this: even deeply rooted hate, however justified, has to be overcome in order to be happy. Hate is so powerful it can and will easily consume the one who holds the grudge and it often destroy families. In my opinion the whole film is centered around Christopher, in order to save the child's still pure soul, Michael is forced to take that last, hard step towards full maturity.
A simple movie? Maybe. Simplistic? Absolutely not. Above everything else, this movie is oh so full of truth and genuine emotion.