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Perfect Parents ?

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Introduction

Perfect Parents ? I was checking my emails the other day and had received an email highlighting the issues faced by single parents and it shocked me with facts such as every 1338 minutes a single parent attempts suicide and every six hours a single parent home is burgled, and it reminded me of a few films involving single parents including the 1945 classic Mildred Pierce, an outstanding film which was nominated for six Oscars and an NBR award. It won the NBR best actress award in 1945 and an Oscar for the best actress in a leading role, both for the performance of Joan Crawford which she thoroughly deserved. The email also reminded me of more recent films like Panic Room (2002) and About A Boy (2002) with both films raising the issue of single parents to the masses with the use of top Hollywood stars such as Hugh Grant and Jodie Foster. Panic Room, one of the more recent films from director David Fincher, director of other films including the classic Fight Club (1999), was a little disappointing to say the least. Although Fincher's direction of the film was up to his usual high standard, with excellent camera shots, especially his tracking, crabbing and craning shots through the house and the brilliant establishing shots, high above New York used during the opening credits, the film is let down by the somewhat stale acting of key characters including Burnham (Forest Whitaker) ...read more.

Middle

Before the police arrive Foster shows her maternal side again when trying to save Bachau from the same fate as Junior. Foster really stands out as the films protagonist risking everything for someone who recently divorced her, one of flaws of this part of the film is Foster's clothes miraculously change from being slightly dirty to looking as if she had been in a war. In the end the Altmans reunited and the film resolves all the problems they had faced and they emerge relatively unscathed and makes for a bog standard film. Ultimately, the only reason Panic Room was nominated for eight awards and even managed to win one was because of Jodie Fosters performance bring the portrayal of a single mother out of the dark ages and into the twenty first century and not becoming the typical damsel-in-distress waiting to rescued by the hero, in fact Fincher has reversed these roles making Bauchau the damsel-in-distress and Foster the hero. This film is far from a five star rating however, it fairly entertaining even if it not convincingly scary enough to make anyone get a panic room for themselves. About a Boy is film by acclaimed director Paul Weitz, probably best known for his work in American Pie (1999) with his brother Chris Weitz, who also wrote the screenplay for About a Boy. The Weitz brothers experience in American pie generally help them to do justice to the original Nick Hornby book in this more than average comedy drama. ...read more.

Conclusion

At times, the film redeems itself with the occasional unusual camera shot or the occasional underplayed punchlines that Grant makes the most of. But these moments, excellent as they are, are few and far between, a shame- About A Boy could have been an excellent film to rival the likes of Notting Hill. The one constantly solid performer, Toni Collette giving a slightly more than adequate performance of a single parent and providing support for Grant during the low points of the film was one of the only reasons to keep watching .The positive aspects of the film outweigh the negative aspects, but there will always be the feeling that the Weitz brothers could have done more to make this film a true classic, winning all of the twenty six awards it was nominated for, not just eight. These films both show a convincing view of a single parent and the difficulties that they face, I just cannot help but get the feeling the directors could have done more and I hope that any directors planning on doing a similarly themed film will easily reach the standard and overtake these films in being some of the best tackling this issue. Are these parents perfect? far from it. However if these films stop one parent from committing suicide or stops one burglar from burgling a single parent home these films will have been worth it. ...read more.

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