This weekend marks Father’s Day—the time dedicated each year to honouring the profound impact and invaluable contributions that fathers and father figures make in our lives. Be it with a new watch or a celebratory meal, take this Sunday to express your appreciation for Dad. Afterwards, wind down with a pertinent film from Vogue Singapore’s lineup that shines a spotlight on fatherhood.
Admittedly, for some of us, the holiday is more poignant than it is celebratory. Not all of our relationships with Dad are perfect. Navigating it can be tricky; communication may go awry, boundaries may be overstepped, and a rift grows. How then, do we go about mending old wounds and patching up an imperfect relationship? An age-old question that hits close to home for many grappling with imperfect parent figures—many films have sought to explore these nuances of fatherhood and the sacrifices we each make in the name of love.
Heartwarming and indubitably moving, these films paint a powerful portrait of the unique challenges and responsibilities our fathers bear. They provide a glimpse into the multifaceted experience of fatherhood—the struggles of achieving work-life balance and, as per the Will Smith film title, the pursuit of happiness—as they endeavour to create a nurturing environment for their children given their circumstances.
Through the lens of cinema, these are the titles that promise to open our eyes to the joys and challenges of fatherhood and perhaps allow us to glean a newfound appreciation for the father figures in our lives. Here, see Vogue Singapore’s curation of films to delve into this Father’s Day.
1 / 6
The Whale (2022)
The Whale sees Brendan Fraser’s glorious return to the big screen as Charlie, a lonesome English teacher in Idaho struggling with severe obesity. He desires to reach out and make amends with his teenage daughter (Sadie Sink), and have one last shot at reconciliation.
2 / 6
Beautiful Boy (2018)
In this biographical drama, Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell star as father and son—Nicolas and David. Beautiful Boy explores Nic and his father’s lives from his adolescence into his twenties as he battles his drug addiction and the torturous cycle of recovery and relapse.
3 / 6
C'mon C'mon (2021)
In C’mon C’mon, Joaquin Phoenix takes on the role of an emotionally stunted radio journalist unexpectedly saddled with the responsibility of caring for his young nephew Jesse (Woody Norman). Their bond, deeply moving and utterly transformational, stand as proof that fatherhood goes beyond blood.
4 / 6
On a summer holiday with her father (Paul Mescal), 11-year-old Sophie (Frankie Corio) treasures the rare time they spend together. For Sophie, who’s on the precipice of adolescence, her father’s struggle with the weight of life outside parenthood escapes her eye. 20 years later, as she attempts to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t, her memories of their last vacation together paint a tender, heartbreaking picture of their relationship.
5 / 6
Like Father, Like Son (2013)
When a blood test reveals that two babies were switched at birth, their disparate families are forced together to make a difficult decision. Made to choose between his biological son and the one he raised as his own, wealthy businessman Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) is confronted with what it means to truly be a father.
6 / 6
King Richard (2021)
In this biographical sports drama, Will Smith plays Richard Williams, father and coach of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams (Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton respectively). Coming from an unprivileged background, it is with his support and guidance that the sisters rise to dominate the field of women’s tennis—eventually becoming the famed athletes we know them as today. With both sisters listed as executive producers on the project, Serena Williams has expressed that the film is a great opportunity for audiences to see how amazing African-American fathers are.