Father Image


By Kyle Bain | March 28, 2022

Directed by Jonathan Pease and written by Jessica Liley, Father follows Tess (Emma Diaz), a swimmer dedicated to her passion. Unfortunately, her father, Jack (John Brumpton), is sick in the hospital, and he doesn’t have much time left. When Tess arrives to visit her father after a morning swim, she meets a surprise visitor that will quickly shake up her life. The film tells the story of Tess, her father, and this new individual, Connor (Jackson Heywood), as they each try to make sense of the situation in which they find themselves.

At the start of the movie, viewers are given a glimmer of hope that things in Tess’s life are going well. But just as everyone begins to feel complacent, Tess arrives at the hospital. There’s a strange juxtaposition of optimism and hardship that transcends the entirety of the short drama. The two are pitted against one another, begging audience members to reach out and catch hold of one. The interesting thing is that I’m not sure viewers will be able to settle on which one to grab, which is good. It accurately represents the world, and those watching begin to develop a genuine understanding not only of Tess but of themselves and their daily lives. That hope is never fully extinguished, but neither is the hardship or dismay, keeping viewers on the edges of their seats from beginning to end.

“…her father, Jack, is sick in the hospital…”

Diaz, Brumpton, and Heywood are wonderful actors. They convey emotion as well as anyone in the business, and every single line seems genuine. Diaz is the one I’m most impressed with, as she is required to run the gamut from happiness to sadness and acceptance to ferocity. Her performance is captivating, and she ultimately becomes the vehicle by which the story is told. Given this trio’s situation (you’ll have to watch to find out because I refuse to spill the beans), every word seems genuine, and the emotion emanates from the screen. As I watched this heartbreaking story of fatherhood and grief, I got wrapped up in the feelings of each character, pulled into the narrative, and completely incapable of looking away.

Father, as wonderfully made as it is, is a difficult watch. It rips your heart out, throws it on the floor, and proceeds to stomp on it. The film never relents as it bounces between emotions and refuses to let viewers catch their breath. Even with the heavy emotional content, the short drama manages to be full of emotion. The incredibly talented actors and the ever-involving story are sure to tug at your heartstrings. The movie is as beautiful as anything I’ve ever seen.

Father (2022)

Directed: Jonathan Pease

Written: Jessica Liley

Starring: John Brumpton, Emma Diaz, Jackson Heywood, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

Father Image

"…as beautiful as anything I've ever seen."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon