'Falling' Trailer: Viggo Mortensen's Directorial Debut is About a Father and Son at Odds

Viggo Mortensen makes his directorial debut with Falling, the story of a gay man dealing with his estranged, conservative father who is suffering from dementia. Mortensen also stars in the pic, which features great character actor Lance Henriksen as the antagonistic father. Falling played at both Sundance and at TIFF last year, where it was met with mixed reviews. Now it’s headed to theaters and digital in February. Watch the trailer below.

Falling Trailer

Falling focuses on “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.”

This story has potential, and I like Mortensen as an actor and I like Henriksen even more – he’s one of the best character actors of all time, and I’ve longed for a filmmaker to give him a big role like this in the later-half of his career. That said, this trailer doesn’t do much for me – it’s rather predictable, and while Henriksen certainly seems to be giving his all, it might not be enough to elevate the material.

It doesn’t help that most reviews for Falling have been a bit mixed. It’s currently fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 73%, but in his TIFF review for /Film, Jason Gorber called Falling “a total disaster,” saying that it was “frustrating and flawed father/son drama that demands rather than earns empathy from its deeply unlikeable central character and his near saintly son,” and added:

There’s little in the way of either reconciliation or meaningful confrontation, making the entire journey feel haphazard and meandering…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.

In addition to Mortensen (who also wrote the script)Henriksen, Chen, and Velis, Falling also stars Sverrir Gudnason and Laura LinneyFalling will arrive in theaters, on digital and On-Demand on February 5.

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