Daddy Longlegs

Film, 2009

I’m not sure if I’m able to objectively write about Daddy Longlegs, but I could stand to spend some time hitting the ol’ journal examining what it did to me personally. The protagonist seems like a personification of people of a certain disposition’s worst fears of fatherhood. A father with genuine love for his kids, but whose complete ignorance of responsibility causes him to make awful (and I mean awful) parenting decisions. (But you would be wrong to think that the filmmakers were working through these insecurities. The film is actually based on the memories of filmmakers the Josh and Bennie Safdie brothers.) Every wrong turn he makes is a harder punch to the gut. The film draws you in on two fronts; a great performance by it’s lead actor, a bad father whose charm and love for his children makes you want him to succeed, and a lo-fi, intimate style of filmmaking. While watching a movie shot on grainy old film is bound to be nostalgic for people of a certain age, it also produces a warmer feeling just due to it’s look. It’s interesting that filmmakers who lived through this story decided to tell it from the perspective of the father rather than their own, and it’s remarkable that they are able to put you so close to him. 4

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