The Father of My Children

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The Father of My Children
The Father of My Children.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
Produced by Oliver Damian
Philippe Martin
David Thion
Written by Mia Hansen-Løve
Starring Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
Chiara Caselli
Cinematography Pascal Auffray
Edited by Marion Monnier
Distributed by Les Films du Losange
Release date
  • 17 May 2009 (2009-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 16 December 2009 (2009-12-16) (France)
Running time
112 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget $2.3 million
Box office $1.2 million[1]

The Father of My Children (French: Le Père de mes enfants) is a 2009 French drama film directed by Mia Hansen-Løve. It won the Jury Special Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.[2] It is based in part on the life of the late Humbert Balsan.[3]


Grégoire Canvel (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) is a French film producer who has his own film company. Despite his luxurious country home, apartment in Paris and film company he is drowning in debt. Grégoire continues to take on more work despite his slate of current films continuing to rack up costs. Upon learning that he is 4 million euros in debt and that his catalogue of films, already mortgaged, is only worth less than a million euros and that his bank refuses to extend him any more credit Grégoire burns his bills and then shoots himself in the street.

In the wake of his death his wife Sylvia attempts to honour her husband's memory by completing the work currently in production. However her attempts fail and she is forced to liquidate the company.

Meanwhile, while waiting for her mother outside of the production office, Grégoire and Sylvia's eldest daughter, Clémence (Alice de Lencquesaing), overhears people talking about her father and how he led a double life and had a son he was estranged from. While Sylvia is in Sweden trying to secure funding for one of Grégoire's last films, Sylvia digs through her fathers papers and discovers he did have a son named Moune whom he sent money to. Though she meets with Moune's mother she ultimately does not meet Moune himself.

On the day the company is dissolved Sylvia and her three daughters go to Grégoire's office one final time. Afterwards they leave Paris and though Clémence had wanted to visit her father's grave in order to say goodbye her mother tells her there is simply no time. In the backseat of the car Clémence begins to cry as they pass through the city.



Hansen-Løve based the character of Grégoire on Humbert Balsan whom she had met after she had made her first short film and who had originally intended to produce her first film All Is Forgiven before he committed suicide.[4]

She cast her cousin Igor Hansen-Løve in the role of Arthur Malkavian, a young screen writer whose film Grégoire wants to produce, giving him an experience similar to her own with Humbert Balsan.


The Father of My Children has a rating of 76 on Metacritic and 91% on Rotten Tomatoes indicating widespread positive acclaim.[5][6]


Award / Film Festival Category Recipients and nominees Result
Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard – Special Jury Prize Won
Cabourg Film Festival Prix Premiers Rendez-vous Alice de Lencquesaing Won
Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Lumières Awards Best Screenplay Mia Hansen-Løve Won


External links[edit]