Men of an older generation were often brought up to believe in certain things. Taught they had to be a ‘real man’. Which usually meant something along the lines of being the breadwinner, never showing emotion and bringing up your children in your own image. As society progressed and increasingly became more liberally minded in formerly unimaginable ways, many elderly people simply failed to keep up. Change can be scary. This is the case in Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut, Falling.
Willis (Lance Henriksen) is stubborn as a mule. He still lives alone on the family farm despite declining health. A hard man, he is used to getting his way. John (Mortensen) lives in California with his Husband Eric (Terry Chen). A fact that doesn’t exactly escape his father. In an attempt to persuade him to move closer to his sister (Laura Linney) and himself, dad is invited to visit. However, his angry intransigence is difficult to bear.
Falling is an acerbic drama which can be measured by the power of its central performances. In Henriksen and Mortensen you have two dramatic heavyweights and it’s the conflict between them which propels this muscular generational battle. No punches are pulled here and it’s unusual to see such bold and blunt filmmaking. Especially for a first feature. Falling is an assured character study about an intractable man who simply refuses to change.
Falling is available in the UK and Ireland from 4 December.