Falling (2020 film)

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Falling (2020) film poster.jpeg
Official poster
Directed byViggo Mortensen
Produced by
  • Viggo Mortensen
  • Chris Curling
  • Daniel Bekerman
Written byViggo Mortensen
CinematographyMarcel Zyskind
Edited byRonald Sanders
Distributed by
Release date
  • January 31, 2020 (2020-01-31) (Sundance)
  • December 4, 2020 (2020-12-04) (United Kingdom)
  • February 5, 2021 (2021-02-05) (United States)
  • February 5, 2021 (2021-02-05) (Canada)
Running time
112 minutes
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada

Falling is a 2020 drama film written and directed by Viggo Mortensen in his feature directorial debut.[1] The film stars Mortensen as John Peterson, a middle-aged gay man whose conservative and 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).[2]

The film's cast also includes Sverrir Gudnason, Laura Linney, Hannah Gross and David Cronenberg.

It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 31, 2020.[2] It was released in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2020, by Modern Films. It is scheduled to be released in the United States and Canada on February 5, 2021, by Quiver Distribution and Mongrel Media.


John (Viggo Mortensen) lives with his husband, Eric (Terry Chen) in California, far from the traditional rural life he left behind years ago. His father, Willis (Lance Henriksen), 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 (Laura Linney), can help their father find a home closer to them. Their intentions ultimately run up against Willis’s angry refusal to change his way of life in any way.



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.[3] In March 2019, Laura Linney, Hannah Gross and Terry Chen joined the cast of the film.[4]

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.[1]


Principal photography began in March 2019.[5] Filming took place in Los Angeles and Northern Ontario.


It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 31, 2020.[6] It will also screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2020.[7] It was released in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2020, by Modern Films.[8][9] In December 2020, Quiver Distribution acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film and set it for a February 5, 2021, release.[10] It is scheduled to be released in Canada on February 5, 2021.[11]


The film has a rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 50 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.30/10. 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."[12] Metacritic reports a score of 64 out of 100 based on 12 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13]

Falling has won the "Best Film" at the San Sebastián International Film Festival and "Outstanding Achievement in Picture Editing" Award from the Directors Guild of Canada. They have also been nominated for two other awards.[14]


  1. ^ a b Tom Grater, "Viggo Mortensen talks directing debut 'Falling'; first look at family drama". Screen Daily, May 15, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Robert Daniels, "‘Falling’: Viggo Mortensen’s Directorial Debut Is An Exhausting Mess (Sundance Review)". The Playlist, February 1, 2020.
  3. ^ McNary, Dave (October 15, 2018). "Viggo Mortensen to Star, Make Directorial Debut in Family Drama 'Falling'". Variety. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  4. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (March 21, 2019). "Laura Linney, Terry Chen & Hannah Gross Join Viggo Mortensen's Directorial Debut 'Falling', Shoot Underway In Toronto". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  5. ^ "Viggo Mortensen is filming a movie in Toronto". blogto.com. February 13, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (December 4, 2019). "Sundance Unveils Female-Powered Lineup Featuring Taylor Swift, Gloria Steinem, Abortion Road Trip Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  7. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (July 30, 2020). "Toronto Sets 2020 Lineup: Werner Herzog, Regina King, Mira Nair, Francois Ozon, Naomi Kawase Titles Join Hybrid Edition". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  8. ^ Rosser, Michael (August 7, 2020). "Modern Films acquires Hilma Af Klint, Molly Ivins docs for UK and Ireland (exclusive)". Screen International. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  9. ^ "Falling". Launching Films. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Falling". Mongrel Media. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  12. ^ "Falling". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  13. ^ "Falling (2021) Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Falling - IMDb, retrieved 2020-11-02

External links[edit]