Romulus, My Father

Romulus, My Father Image
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Romulus, My Father is based on Raimond Gaita's critically acclaimed memoir. It tells the story of Romulus, his beautiful wife, Christina, and their struggle in the face of great adversity to bring up their son, Raimond. It is the tale of a boy trying to balance a universe described by hisRomulus, My Father is based on Raimond Gaita's critically acclaimed memoir. It tells the story of Romulus, his beautiful wife, Christina, and their struggle in the face of great adversity to bring up their son, Raimond. It is the tale of a boy trying to balance a universe described by his deeply moral father amidst the experience of heartbreaking absence and neglect from a depressive mother. It is, ultimately, a story of impossible love that celebrates the unbreakable bond between father and son. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. For all its sad moments, Romulus, My Father is a love story between father and son kept aloft by unalloyed admiration.
  2. The film succeeds on the strength of the boy, and the remarkable young actor who plays him, Kodi Smit-McPhee.
  3. 63
    This is a workmanlike motion picture with solid performances. It's just that the superior production values are used in service of a mediocre storyline.
  4. 60
    Warmly felt but haltingly told meller Romulus, My Father holds the attention with fine perfs and exquisite lensing, but never really grips the imagination.
  5. The performances are the best part of this uneven film.
  6. 40
    Admirably unsentimental about the ravages of poverty and mental illness on the foundations of family. But soon the endless succession of heartaches that visit Gaita's brood -- including multiple suicide attempts and romantic betrayals -- becomes monotonous and unbearable, the cinematic equivalent of someone slowly pressing his thumb into your forehead.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. JayH.
    Apr 17, 2008
    6
    Solid story and acting, nice feel for the times. Sensitively directed, well written. It does get a bit slow at times however, and these slow Solid story and acting, nice feel for the times. Sensitively directed, well written. It does get a bit slow at times however, and these slow stretches do hurt the effect of the film. Expand
  2. ChadS.
    Apr 24, 2008
    5
    If your voice breaks in the outback, and nobody's there to hear it, should you shave your pubes? Rai(Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a loner. If he If your voice breaks in the outback, and nobody's there to hear it, should you shave your pubes? Rai(Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a loner. If he was sociable, "Romulus, My Father" could've been a coming-of-age film like John Duigan's "The Year My Voice Broke", and its sequel "Flirting"; both set in Australia, both starring Noah Taylor. When Rai follows his crazy mother to the city, "Romulus, My Father" raises our hopes that something, anything, will happen after such an inert beginning. For a second there, things look promising. The maladjusted country boy approaches a girl in a white dress. She's dancing on her porch like a hellcat to "Wild One". It's summer. It's his chance to come-of-age. But he strikes out. She's a "real wild child", and Rai's a real square sad sack, for not recognizing the voice and piano-playing of Jerry Lee Lewis. Rai doesn't come-of-age at boarding school either. His only friend is a book. It's while he's at the academy that he has a falling out with his mother. "Romulus, My Father" is missing that crucial scene, in which father and child talk about Christina(Franka Potente). There's an albatross hovering over Rai's head that needs shooing away. Melodrama isn't melodrama, if the scene is grounded in emotional truth. "Romulus, My Father" doesn't need to be a crowd-pleaser, but it's sometimes soporific, and hard to watch. Expand

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