Best Fathers Day Movies
Best fathers day moviesFathers have it hard in Hollywood. So many films not only include but hinge upon daddy-issues (like every movie Spielberg has made). Even the coolest dads in film usually start out as dicks. They don't truly redeem themselves until the third act. Just look at Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (my personal favorite of the trilogy). Sean Connery is enjoyable to watch as Henry Sr., Indy's absentee father. Yes, they bonded during their crusade for the Holy Grail, but before that their relationship was defined by thirty years of horrible parenting. Fathers in movies are either absent, neglectful or trying to force you to kill a man with an ax. In honors of Father's Day, I have assembled the top five fathers in film. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few in there, but for now this list will do.
5. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) in Taken
Liam Neeson takes this spot through sheer badassery. Not only does he save his daughter from being trapped in a sex ring, but he also sets her up to meet her favorite pop star. Neeson's character may not be the greatest of fathers, but it's hard not to see a one-man war against France as a dedication of his love. Plus did I mention Neeson is awesome is everything he's in?
4. Daddy Warbucks (Albert Finney and Victor Garber) in Annie
Though he is not Annie's real father, Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks proves that even red-heads need love. And that is a valuable lesson to take home with you. The gruff millionaire plucks the orphan out of the drudgery of New York's worst orphanage and finally gives her what she's dreamed of all her life: family. Family and lots of money during the depression. While everyone else was in line for bread she was kicking it with FDR (figuratively kicking it of course, damn polio).
Why does nobody have eyes?
3. Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) in Kramer vs. Kramer
In the beginning of the movie, Ted Kramer wasn't the best husband or dad in the world. Kramer belonged to the archetype of "workaholic dad" that so many movies abuse for drama. After his wife leaves him, Kramer is forced to finally learn to be a dad. Kramer vs. Kramer could of easily been a pedestrian film about parenthood. But thanks to Dustin Hoffman's vulnerability in the role, the whole film is elevated. And, although I previously decried absentee fathers in my intro, Kramer learned how to be a real dad for his son before it was too late. And though I will forever be angry at this film for beating out Apocalypse Now and Being There at the Oscars, it's still a really good film.
2. Furious Styles (Laurence Fishburne) in Boyz n the Hood
Boyz n the Hood will always be one of my favorite films. It's a perfect coming of age film about three teenagers who name South Central home. And, out of any coming of age flick, Boyz n the Hood is the one that stresses the importance of being a father more than any other. In the end, Tre is the only one to escape the neighborhood violence. This is in no small part thanks to his father raising him. Furious Styles not only raises Tre but shows him how to be a man. Laurence Fishburne plays the role exceptionally well, truly proving that any fool can be a father but it takes a man to be a dad. Furious is the Atticus Finch of the hood. Speaking of which...
1. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in To Kill a Mockingbird
Gregory Peck may be seen as the poor man's Cary Grant, but Peck has one thing that Grant can never have: an Oscar. Not just an Oscar, but an Oscar for one of the greatest characters in, not just film or literature, but history. Atticus Finch is the man that all men should model their lives after. He's gentle, kind, fair and honorable. A widower, Finch is left to raise his two kids on his own. But even with the loss of his wife and the case of his life, Atticus still finds the time to be a wonderful father to Scout and Jem. He never condescends to his children nor does he miss an opportunity to impress upon them how to be a human being. The hero to lawyers everywhere, AFI's greatest hero in American film and my choice for best father in film. While I may have had some trouble thinking of the other four, this choice was just too easy.