Fathers and Daughters: Another Muccino film "made in the USA"
by Camillo De Marco
- The cast of the director’s fourth film shot in the United States, which boasts a €16 million budget, includes Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Diane Kruger
It’s not often that Italy makes a co-production with the USA. Gabriele Muccino is one of the few Italian directors who have successfully managed to build a bridge across the Atlantic with their “American” movies. The network of US companies – Voltage Films and Busted Shark – behind his latest work, Fathers and Daughters [+see also:
film profile], which comes out today in 400 theatres courtesy of 01 (set to be released in the United States in December), also includes the Italian outfit Leone Film Group (LFG), founded in 1989 by Sergio Leone, and currently run by the great director’s children, Andrea and Raffaella Leone. In 2012, the LFG signed a three-year output deal with Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks and with Lionsgate. And in 2014, Leone Film Group inked an agreement for the acquisition of Lotus Production, with which it has produced Italian projects such as the forthcoming film by Paolo Virzi, La pazza gioia [+see also:
Q&A: Paolo Virzì
film profile] (read the news), and Perfetti sconosciuti [+see also:
film profile] by Paolo Genovese (read the news). The production of an international project by Oscar winner Giuseppe Tornatore is also planned for 2016.
Besides this, LFG owns and manages the library of all of Sergio Leone’s films for Italy, holds the rights for all other countries in joint ownership with co-producers MGM, Paramount and United Artist, and possesses a library of over 400 titles.
Muccino has described his fourth film in the USA as “my most complete film on life, love, fear of loving, the transience of things, which also highlights the importance of childhood: the cause and effect of the things that happen during the first six years of our lives, which determine our inclinations". His first American movie, The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), starred Will Smith, who was again directed by Muccino in 2008, in the drama Seven Pounds. Muccino’s next project was the 2012 romantic comedy Playing for Keeps, which starred a stellar cast including Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Uma Thurman, but which flopped completely at the box office.
The cast of Fathers and Daughters, which had a budget of €16 million, includes Russell Crowe (who also served as one of the executive producers), Amanda Seyfried and Diane Kruger. Crowe plays a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who has become a widower and finds he has to bring up his beloved daughter Katie on his own, while coping with the symptoms of a serious mental disorder. Twenty-five years later, the girl is living in New York, having remained distant from her father for many years; there, she battles against the demons from her own tormented childhood, and her inability to let herself go and fall in love.
“It’s a film that I made exactly how I wanted to make it. If it hadn’t been like that and I’d ended up reliving the experience I had on Playing for Keeps, I would have walked off the set,” Muccino said to the press. “I instantly fell in love with Brad Desch’s screenplay. And when I happen to see it again, I cry when I watch certain scenes.” An emotional experience is guaranteed in Fathers and Daughters, which once again serves to show off Muccino’s enormous directing talent, while the screenplay by first-timer Desch, aimed primarily at a female audience, cleverly switches between past and present via continuous flashbacks, but falls into the trap of unoriginality a little too often.
(Translated from Italian)