Falling (2020 film)
|Directed by||Viggo Mortensen|
|Written by||Viggo Mortensen|
|Edited by||Ronald Sanders|
Falling is a 2020 drama film written and directed by Viggo Mortensen in his feature directorial debut. The film stars Mortensen as John Peterson, a middle-aged gay man whose homophobic father Willis (Lance Henriksen) starts to exhibit symptoms of dementia, forcing him to sell the family farm and move to Los Angeles to live with John and his husband Eric (Terry Chen).
It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 31, 2020. It was released in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2020, by Modern Films. It was released in the United States and Canada on February 5, 2021, by Quiver Distribution and Mongrel Media.
John lives with his husband Eric in California, far from the traditional rural life he left behind years ago. His father, Willis, a headstrong man from a bygone era, lives alone on the isolated farm where John grew up. Willis's mind is declining, so John brings him west, hoping he and his sister, Sarah, can help their father find a home closer to them. Their best intentions ultimately run up against Willis's angry refusal to change his way of life in any way.
- Viggo Mortensen as John Peterson
- William Healy as 15-year-old John Peterson
- Etienne Kellici as 10-year-old John Peterson
- Grady McKenzie as 5-year-old John Peterson
- Lance Henriksen as Willis Peterson
- Sverrir Gudnason as young Willis Peterson
- Laura Linney as Sarah Peterson
- Ava Kozelj as 10-year-old Sarah Peterson
- Carina Battrick as 5-year-old Sarah Peterson
- Hannah Gross as Gwen Peterson
- Terry Chen as Eric Peterson
- Piers Bijvoet as Will
- Ella Jonas Farlinger as Paula
- Bracken Burns as Jill
- David Cronenberg as Proctologist #1
- Paul Gross as Proctologist #2
- Bo Martyn as Flight Attendant
- Gabby Velis as Monica Peterson
In October 2018, it was announced Viggo Mortensen would star in the film, alongside Lance Henriksen, Sverrir Gudnason, and directing from a screenplay he wrote. Mortensen and Daniel Bekerman will serve as producers on the film under their Scythia Films banner. In March 2019, Laura Linney, Hannah Gross and Terry Chen joined the cast of the film.
Mortensen had not originally intended to play the lead role in the film himself, but found that since there were virtually no other major stars in the cast, committing to act in the film was the only way he was able to secure production funding.
Though not an autobiographical piece, Mortensen was influenced by feelings from his upbringing. One of the first scenes of the movie where Mortensen's character shoots a duck as a young boy and decides to keep the dead bird as a pet actually happened to him as a child.
It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 31, 2020. It will also screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2020. It was released in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2020, by Modern Films. In December 2020, Quiver Distribution acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film and set it for a February 5, 2021, release. It was released in Canada on February 5, 2021.
The film has a rating of 67% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 94 reviews, with an average of 6.3/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "As messy and complex as the relationship at its center, Falling's repetitive nature can be taxing, but its heart is clearly in the right place." Metacritic reports a score of 66 out of 100 based on 15 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
It won the 2020 Sebastiane Award and the award for Outstanding Achievement in Picture Editing from the Directors Guild of Canada, and received five Canadian Screen Award nominations at the 9th Canadian Screen Awards in 2021, for Best Actor (Henriksen), Best Art Direction or Production Design (Carol Spier), Best Costume Design (Anne Dixon), Best Editing (Ronald Sanders) and Best Casting (Deirdre Bowen).
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- "Falling". Launching Films. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
- Hipes, Patrick (December 8, 2020). "Viggo Mortensen's Directorial Debut 'Falling' Gets February U.S. Release Date In Quiver Deal – Watch New Trailer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
- "Falling". Mongrel Media. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
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- Brent Furdyk, "Canadian Screen Awards Announces 2021 Film Nominations". ET Canada, March 30, 2021.