falling trailer

Viggo Mortensen is the latest high-profile actor to make his directorial debut, with the father-son drama Falling. Mortensen stars in Falling as a middle-aged gay man whose conservative and homophobic father Willis (Lance Henriksen) starts to exhibit symptoms of dementia, forcing him to sell the family farm and move to Los Angeles to live with John and his husband Eric (Terry Chen). Naturally, things get a little tense. Watch the Falling trailer below.

Falling Trailer

Falling is “not strictly autobiographical,” but based on the childhood Mortensen shared with his two brothers, to whom the movie is dedicated, the actor and filmmaker said in a statement. “It is a complex story, layered throughout with the subjective, imperfect memories of its principal characters. Most people, it seems to me, yearn to be seen and heard, and thrive on empathy. It took me a long time to accept my own father as he was, with as little judgment as possible, but I’m glad that I eventually did so. And he returned the gesture, for which I’ll always be grateful. FALLING is, in large part, about the importance of accepting and forgiving, of learning to live with others and with oneself.”

There’s no denying that Mortensen is a talented actor, but how will he do as a director? It’s hard to tell too much from the trailer for Falling, which plays like a pretty standard tearjerking domestic drama. But the film did earn all kinds of accolades from the film festival circuit, making the official selection at Sundance, where it made its world premiere; getting in the official selections at Cannes, TIFF, and San Sebastian; and earning a nomination at the European Film Awards.

However, /Film reviewer Jason Gorber was not one of those taken by Falling, calling Mortensen’s directorial debut “a total disaster,” in his review, in which he writes: “Falling fails hard, unable to generate sympathy for its protagonists and relying entirely on the charms of its writer/director to sustain interest. It’s a shame, as Mortensen’s a fine performer with a strong legacy, but the film feels like the worst kind of passion project, one that forgot to bring the audience in for what amounts to a film more masturbatory than moving. ”

Here is the synopsis for Falling:

FALLING follows John (Viggo Mortensen) who lives with his partner, Eric (Terry Chen), and their daughter, Mónica (Gabby Velis), in California, far from the traditional rural life he left behind years ago, while his conservative father, Willis (Lance Henriksen), lives alone on the isolated farm where John grew up. In the early stages of dementia, Willis is brought to John’s California home to help him relocate. Unfortunately, their best intentions ultimately run up against Willis’s adamant refusal to change his way of life in the slightest.

Falling will release in theaters, on Digital and On Demand on February 5, 2021.

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