Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sunday Best: 25 Father's Day Movies (repost)


There so many movies about fathers and fatherhood. And not all of those movies have something good to say. 

But here are the top 25 movies for Father's Day

25. Life is Beautiful
One of the great things about the movie is the father here is not manly in the traditional sense, but he express the masculine traits of protective fatherhood in his own way.

24. Les Miserables (1998)
You can see here how peaceful and fulfilling fatherhood is, so that the words ring true at the end when Valjean says to Cosette "I stole something... I stole happiness with you. I don't mind paying."

23. Return of the Jedi
Great movie about the redemptive love of a son for the father

22. Interstellar
Like Life is Beautiful, the truth about how fathers will do anything to make sure their children aren't afraid is in full display. This is true even when children are unfair to parents 

21. Shadowlands
The movie reminds us that he most important thing about being a father, even in a blended family, is to simply to be there for your child especially in their grief

20. Road to Perdition
What do you do if your son is evil and hurting your life? What do you do if your father is evil but he is giving everything to protect you? As complex as those questions are, the last line of the movie sums up everything.

19. The Godfather
This is more of a model of what not to do as a father. I know most people see Vito is he good father and Michael as the bad one, but it should never be forgotten, no matter how much Vito loves his children, he sets them on the road to hell.

18. It's a Wonderful Life
A beautiful model of what a father does to provide, even if it means giving up his own dreams

17. Dan in Real Life
While not a model of fatherhood, Dan reflects the wonderful stresses of being a dad of 3 daughters

16. A Man For All Seasons
As his daughter begs him to compromise his conscience in order to be set free and be with her, St. Thomas More must refuse her because he knows that a good father must be a model of morality

15. Armageddon 
Harry Stamper behaves as a father to his daughter and to his entire crew. He takes things into his own hands because he knows that his responsibility as a dad means he has to be the one to step up

14. The Way
A father who loses their only child is still a father and this movie shows how that bond is forever 

13. Man of Steel
It is important that the first word in this Superman movie is "man." It is about a hero is trying to learn first what it means to be a man. And both Jor-El and Jonathan say and do some foolish things, but they are completely devoted to their son and make him the man he is 

12. The Incredibles
A good father is not only a hero to his children, but he helps them become the heroes of their own story.

11. Rocky Balboa
One of the toughest transitions in fatherhood is going from being the protector so that your children can grow up. Stallone's speech right before the last act is a fantastic representation of that

10. Father of the Bride
Every dad I've spoken to who has had a daughter get married tells me that this movie captures that painfully hilarious insanity

9. The Pursuit of Happyness 
A dad who is not trying to gain riches apart from his family, but making every sacrifice imaginable to give his son a decent shot at life 

8. Heaven is for Real
Reverend Burpo is a fine, upstanding manly man of God, but God puts him through purifying fire and must learn that a good father will also learn from a child

7. Finding Nemo
A children's film that captures the terror of parenthood and the perpetual fear for their safety while at the same time showing the resilient love of a father

6. Cloak and Dagger
A boy comes up with an idealized fictional version of his father, not seeing the heroic everyday hero in front of him until the final line of the movie

5. Liar Liar
What Mrs. Doubtfire got wrong, this movie got right: a good father must be honest, put his children before his career, and be a loving man to his child's mother.

4. The Nativity Story
I always think of the portrayal of St. Joseph in this movie as a model of manhood to the Son of Man

3. Taken
This movie touched a primal belief in all fathers that they could turn into unstoppable killing machines to protect their kids

2. Field of Dreams
Most people would out this as the number one, and rightly so. Using the medium of baseball, the movie shows  that no matter how much we twist out fatherly relationships into knots, it is sometimes the simplest things, like playing catch, that mean the most

1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
In a movie where the treasure is the Holy Grail, it would take something truly amazing to overshadow that. And Spielberg expertly understands that the real treasure is the relationship between Indy and his dad. Too much history and too many similarities keep them apart, but it's the acknowledgement of how they are the same and different at the same time. It all is there in the finale: Indy tries his best to make his father's lifelong dream come true even if it kills him. It takes his father's acknowledgement that his son has grown up (calling him Indiana for the only time) and telling him it is okay to let it go. And Indy knows I that moment what every child should know: that the child is he treasure of the father.

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