Monday, December 12, 2011

Movie Dads We Wish We Had

Movie Dads We Wish We Had

Movie Dads We Wish We Had, Many fathers we see on the silver screen are portrayed as clueless or downright icky. They could probably use a few parenting tips from these upstanding fell. All too often, movies portray fathers as either hapless bumblers or cold disciplinarians, but every now and then a film comes along that gets it right. Here's our list of 10 movie dads who portray the very best of fatherhood.

Atticus Finch
Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird

Atticus Finch is the quintessential father: he respects and listens to his children; spends quality time with them; and dispenses fatherly wisdom along with reading lessons. His children adore him, but they can’t help thinking he’s a little dull. During the course of the film, the kids discover that their father has not only the strength and integrity to stand up for what he believes, no matter the cost, but also a wicked sense of humor and an impressive way of handling a rifle. Who wouldn't want a dad like that?
Stanley Banks
Spencer Tracy in Father of the Bride

Any father who has walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding will recognize Stanley Banks' complex emotions. He’s amazed that his little girl has grown up so fast, frustrated, and then resigned, at being pushed aside while the women of the family plan the increasingly expensive event, and finally proud, and a little sad, that his beloved child is leaving home to create her own life apart from him. The brilliant Spencer Tracy brings just the right touch of humor to some of fatherhood's most poignant and bittersweet moments.
Captain Georg von Trapp
Christopher Plummer in The Sound of Music

A widower and former naval officer, Captain von Trapp rules his home and his family with an iron hand until a new romance with Maria, his children’s governess, allows him to break through his grief and rediscover the joys of fatherhood. When the family's idyllic life in Austria is threatened by the Nazis on the brink of World War II, Georg engineers a bold escape to save his children's lives and lead them to freedom. Fatherly love and beautiful music—it's a winning combination.
Guido Orefice
Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful

Using humor to deflect the pain and suffering of war, brave Guido makes the ultimate sacrifice to save his young son's life during the Nazi invasion of Italy. Roberto Benigni's Oscar-winning portrayal of a father who struggles to retain his humanity in an inhuman situation is both funny and unbearably sad. This film is a brilliant and bittersweet portrayal of a horrific time in history—and a stunning example of a father's love.
Chris Gardner
Will Smith in Pursuit of Happyness

In this heartwarming film, a father's dedication and determination help him rise from poverty and homelessness to success on Wall Street. The story of a father’s complete devotion to his son, brought to life by the real-life father-son team of Will and Jaden Smith, is even more poignant because it's based on a true story.
Mac MacGuff
J.K. Simmons in Juno

Mac MacGuff is a no-nonsense guy who is trying to make sense of a tough helping is teenage daughter deal with her pregnancy. In his gruff and pragmatic way, Mac demonstrates both his disapproval of Juno’s actions—“Thanks for having me and my irresponsible daughter over to your house,” Mac says to another character in the film—and his unwavering love for her. Mac walks the fine line that all fathers must walk at some point: watching his child make mistakes, but loving and supporting her, anyway.
Liam Neeson in Love Actually

Much of the bad rep that stepparents have could be erased by watching Liam Neeson's nuanced performance as a grieving widower who is left to raise his stepson while trying to get his own life back on track. With absolute support and no judgment, Daniel guides his stepson over the rocky path of first love—including an enthusiastic dash to the airport so the boy can declare his love to a girl who is moving away. Despite their mutual grief, these two brave souls help each other keep their hearts open to new love.

Ted Kramer
Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer

Who else but Dustin Hoffman could ride the emotional roller coaster of a workaholic father who must choose between his career and the responsibilities of being a single dad—and then face losing the relationship he worked so hard to build? Ted Kramer could be a symbol for every single father who must make difficult choices, including the decision to let his son go back to his mother rather than making him choose. Fortunately for us, there's a happy ending.
Daniel Hillard
Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire

After his marriage breaks up, a loving but somewhat irresponsible dad decides to pose as a matronly housekeeper so he can secretly spend time with his children. In the process of pretending to be wise, Daniel actually becomes wise—even while setting his fake bosom on fire and nearly losing the career opportunity of a lifetime amid table hopping and a series of quick costume changes in a restaurant restroom. This role was tailor-made for Robin Williams, who blends parental love with slapstick humor to put Mrs. Doubtfire on everyone's list of the funniest movies ever made.
Tevye the Milkman
Topol, Fiddler on the Roof

Tevye’s life is ruled by tradition—it’s how people in his little corner of the world keep their balance—but three of his daughters want to forgo arranged marriages, choose their own husbands, and marry for love. Tevye struggles with the break from tradition, especially when one of his daughters ignores his wishes and marries outside their faith, but his love for his daughters and his commitment to their happiness ultimately prove stronger than his need to follow the rules.

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