A mature man rethinks his life when his daughter begin to ignore him.A mature man rethinks his life when his daughter begin to ignore him.A mature man rethinks his life when his daughter begin to ignore him.
Beautiful but empty
There's always a lot to enjoy in any Stephen Polliakoff film: striking use of images and music, an interest in big questions, and the director's lack of fear of letting things run at a slow pace where this makes the story, and atmosphere, more absorbing. But there's also always a journey into a stylised world, and a tendency to set up a false dichotomy between an overly-schematised, and fake, business world, and an overly romanticised (and arguably no less fake) real world. Even when my sympathies lie with Polliakoff, I'm always frustrated by his failure to give our own side a sufficiently hard time. 'Gideon's Daughter' is not his most interesting film, largely because its central characters (a jaded spin doctor and his almost supernaturally beautiful, talented and serene daughter) are fundamentally quite dull. A moment towards the end of the film illustrates the problem succinctly: we see the main characters disappearing from a beautiful Edinburgh street, a street that it the real world in permanently busy with traffic and people but which here is shown devoid of cars and pedestrians alike: and while a director should be forgiven occasional moments of dramatic licence, when the entire drama is framed through such a distorted lens, though big questions may be asked, they're not really answered. This is a wonderfully crafted little film; but also a film that has very little relevance to the messiness of real lives.
- Mar 1, 2006
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