Willis is a homophobic bastard, and has been for his long, long life. And in a remarkable achievement, Lance Henriksen makes you feel for him as he angrily descends, threatening to pull all who love him down with him. This is the frame for Viggo Mortensen’s FALLING, which he wrote, directed, and stars in as Willis’ son John who has a husband (Terry Chan) and an adopted daughter (Gaby Velis) – all things which push Willis closer to the edge.
Director Mortensen keeps the action fast and curious, as we travel among various decades in the family life piecing together a story of a farm family that – despite a glowing performance by Hannah Gross as Willi’s first wife Gwen - cannot hold It together. When Gwen leaves him and then is killed, the seams cannot hold.
Will Willis give up the home and horses that he clearly cannot care for? Will his children (including daughter Sarah played by a luminous Laura Linney) reach Willis and keep him alive and afloat? The climactic scene between father and scene is fantastic – I would not be surprised to see it in scene study classes everywhere as a classic battle between men of different ages.
Having said that, these days we should mention the words are tough and the anger abusive. It never feels sensationalized. It sadly, just feels true. And it makes me happy that queen films continue to develop new and intriguing twists that need to be seen on screen. No doubt, there are many family members living with fathers just like this right now.
Falling is on Prime Video.