A day in the life of Leo and his daughter, Molly, as he floats through alternate lives he could have lived, leading Molly to wrestle with her own path as she considers her future.


Sally Potter


Sally Potter
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Javier Bardem ... Leo
Elle Fanning ... Molly
Branka Katic ... Xenia
Salma Hayek ... Dolores
Dimitri Andreas Dimitri Andreas ... Mikael
Katia Mullova-Brind Katia Mullova-Brind ... Mel
Milena Tscharntke ... Anni
Debora Weston Debora Weston ... Dentist
Aaron Joshua ... Taxi Driver
Sabina Cameron ... Nurse
Griffin Stevens ... Doctor
Laura Linney ... Rita
Catherine Levi Catherine Levi ... Clio
Ruth Keeling Ruth Keeling ... Dog Owner
Olan Montgomery ... Security Guard


Sally Potter's THE ROADS NOT TAKEN follows a day in the life of Leo (Javier Bardem) and his daughter, Molly (Elle Fanning) as she grapples with the challenges of her father's chaotic mind. As they weave their way through New York City, Leo's journey takes on a hallucinatory quality as he floats through alternate lives he could have lived, leading Molly to wrestle with her own path as she considers her future.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One Man's Journey Into His Mind



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


There was originally another story set in New York where Bardem and Chris Rock played lovers, but when Sally Potter was editing the movie, and admittedly much to her dismay, she didn't feel it clicked with the rest of the movie so she cut out those scenes. See more »


Referenced in Evening Urgant: Laima Vaikule/Yelawolf (2020) See more »

User Reviews

Errors in construction of film
22 November 2020 | by jimbloggs97See all my reviews

Sadly, three errors undermine the reality of this film which otherwise had great pathos.The first glaring error was when the opthalmologist became frustrated with Bardem who understandably because of his condition/illness could not understand or take instruction as a normal person, the error being that his daughter clearly did not explain before the exam that her father had dementia as shown by the opthalmologist asking her if her father was 'all there'. How could a caring person (the daughter) not warn anyone dealing with a parent with dementia be so unthinking as to not do this? The second error is a repeat of this, when in the clothes warehouse the security guard tackles Bardem to the floor and all the daughter can say is 'my father is confused'. That doesn't help her father or those dealing with his unusual behaviour--anyone with a bit of sense would make it abundantly clear that Bardem was suffering from dementia, so that others would then treat him more sensitively. The third error concerns the daughter repeatedly excusing herself from an important meeting at her work which involved an important project she had undertaken. It seems that because she didn't make it into work that day, someone else or their work was chosen above her(s). At no point does she explain the truth about why she couldn't get into work ie that she was having to deal with her very ill father; instead she gave mumbled, ineffectual excuses which most likely sounded very lame to her boss or whoever was calling her from her work. Why the hell wouldn't she convey the gravity of her situation when she might then get some understanding and sympathy from her workplace? These are clearly errors in the script, odd that neither the director nor anyone else picked up on them. For em there were jarring, unrealistic moments in the film which accordingly undermined its plausibility.

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Release Date:

13 March 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Roads Not Taken See more »

Filming Locations:

Almería, Andalucía, Spain See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,310, 15 March 2020

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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