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Hard Goodbyes: My Father Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: 10-year-old Elias, a boy living in Athens, makes a pact with his father to watch on television man's first landing on the moon. The two regale each other with stories of Jules Verne and flights of the imagination. They are adventurers and explorers. But chocolate bars left by a father gone on too many business trips are counted, while the countdown to the moonlanding has already begun. The year is 1969. A spaceship takes off, and man soon takes leave of planet earth. And so does Elias' father. It is the imagination and their shared love of storytelling that allow Elias to transcend the unimaginable. (Sipapu Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Sells
    Part of what makes the film engaging is the carefully nuanced performances Panayotopoulou gets from her actors. In particular, Giorgos Karayannis.
  2. 75
    Hard Goodbyes could easily have been maudlin, but isn't. Credit an adult script and realistic acting, especially by Giorgos Karayannis as Elias.
  3. Like the moving 1999 American "A Walk on the Moon," with Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen, Hard Goodbyes juxtaposes a family crisis with the excitement of the period before and during Neil Armstrong's 1969 moonwalk.
  4. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    An involving family drama about a young boy's dreams and personal loss, Hard Goodbyes: My Father brings a light touch -- and a full measure of unaffected charm -- to potentially downbeat material.
  5. Reviewed by: Laura Kern
    Considering the delicate and weighty subject matter, the film's tone is surprisingly light, sometimes even humorous, which helps to balance the harsh sentiments that death inevitably brings.
  6. Panayotopoulou does handle the material with sensitivity, but she relies too much on her young hero's unlikely precocity, which unwittingly diminishes the intensity of a child's very real grief.
  7. Reviewed by: Martin Rubin
    First-time director Penny Panayotopoulou's approach to the delicate subject matter is commendably tactful and tasteful--it's also underdramatized, monotonous, and short on humor.

See all 12 Critic Reviews