This Is My Father

on May 07, 1999 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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   A true family effort, "This is My Father" brings together three brothers: star Aidan Quinn, writer/director Paul Quinn and cinematographer Declan Quinn, in a drama about family, loss and identity. James Caan stars as Kieran Johnson, a lonely schoolteacher tormented by the fact that he never knew his father. He decides to head for Ireland in a bid to uncover the hidden realities of his ailing mother's past. His main clue: a love letter addressed to his mother by a man also named Kieran--Kieran O'Day (Aidan Quinn).
   "This is My Father" is primarily about O'Day and his relationship with Johnson's mother Fiona, memorably played by Moya Farrelly. Quinn particularly stands out as O'Day, a shy farmer who throws all customary caution to the wind when he falls for Fiona.
   Unfortunately, Paul Quinn isn't much of a filmmaker and structures the story badly. Obviously, this is a very personal project for the brothers Quinn, and that makes it all the more regrettable that it doesn't really come off, despite the heartbreaking nature of its inherently sad tale.    Starring James Caan, Aidan Quinn and Moya Farrelly. Written and directed by Paul Quinn. Produced by Nicolas Clermont and Philip King. A Sony Pictures Classics release. Drama. Rated R for a scene of sexuality and brief language. Running time: 119 min.
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