Prisoner’s daughter, the upcoming family drama from director Catherine Hardwicke, gives its stars every chance to shine on short notice. The film follows Max (Brian Cox), a man in and out of prison probably his entire life, and his daughter, Maxine (Kate Beckinsale), a single mother caring for her son, Ezra (Christopher Convery). After serving his final sentence, which was twelve years, Max is allowed to return home under house arrest to live out his remaining months after being diagnosed with cancer.
Of course, a lot of baggage comes with that, as the relationship between Max and Maxine is strained to say the least. She grew up without her father most of the time, which led to her mother developing a deadly relationship with alcohol. With no contact to fall back on, Maxine only agrees to take in her father for one reason: money. Max pays rent for his daughter, and helps her raise Ezra alone.
Of course, a lot of stress comes with that, as they barely pay their bills along with Ezra’s medication for his frequent seizures. Their conflict becomes apparent early on when Maxine rations his medication while Ezra is exasperated about the type of pill he takes in the morning. She sees Max as a means to an end during a turbulent period in her life.
Unfortunately, Ezra’s father is mostly out of the picture. Tyler (Tyson Ritter of All-American Rejects) is an obscure musician and drug user who lives in a community full of other drug users. It is clear why Maxine would want to keep him away from her son. However, this is not easy. Whether it’s Ezra looking forward to spending more time with his dad or Tyler attending school while Maxine leaves him, he’s trying his best to look good in front of his kid while not intending to improve the situation he’s currently in.
There is clearly more to the couple’s history than what is shown in the movie. However, fans had every reason to cheer on Maxine from the outset Prisoner’s daughter. All of these family dynamics play into the movie’s predictable plot, though the performances keep the movie grounded.
Catherine Hardwicke is back in the director’s chair
Hardwicke is back in the director’s chair after her latest project, mafia mamaAnd He was Released earlier this year. The 67-year-old director is offering audiences something a little different from her usual style Prisoner’s daughter.
The director is known for her involvement in the former twilight The movie, which grossed a whopping $400 million worldwide. However, this is a much more intimate look at a small cast of characters, which benefits the movie immensely. In addition, a relatively unknown writer is joining the project with Hardwicke, such as Mark Bacci (Northern RescueAnd real detective) script pens for Prisoner’s daughter.
Although Maxine may seem like the main character, Patchi almost puts the audience into Max’s perspective as we reconnect with his daughter and home after his arrival. When Max first learns about the house after being in prison, a flood of memories return as we see him move from room to room. A patched hole in the wall from a previous fight and a burnt part on the floor from a cigarette are just a few parts of the house Max wishes he could forget.
For a while, his intentions are unclear. This is a man who has made one mistake after another over and over again, and as the audience, you don’t know if he’s really out to make it up to his daughter. It looks like he wants to make up for lost time, but we can’t be sure when Max will first be introduced.
Great performance across the board
Part of what leads to Max’s mystery is the excellent performance by Brian Cox. It should come as no surprise that the four-time Emmy nominee and one-time winner has gone all out to embody a character. When he arrives at his old home, Maxine introduces him as her “uncle” because she does not want Ezra to be too involved in the relationship. Unfortunately, this was a plot point that will obviously be revealed at some point, and luckily, it’s sooner rather than later in the movie.
As expected, Ezra discovers his grandfather’s identity, and after several health scares, the two begin to share a bond. Ezra is looking for some semblance of a father figure in his life, and Max is there to provide that to the best of his ability. However, Ezra would like to see more of his real father, though Maxine is uncomfortable with any interaction whatsoever between the two. Living in Las Vegas, it seems like Tyler just can’t get his life together despite all the opportunities Maxine gives him.
Predictably, Ezra is frustrated at first and does not understand the separation in the family. It isn’t later when Max has a very direct conversation with the boy, that Ezra begins to understand why he doesn’t honor his father the way he does. As cliché as it may be, it will certainly be true to some audiences and may hit the mark, despite reshoots that countless projects have had before.
Their relationship continues to grow as Convery’s character is frequently bullied at school, with most of the teasing coming from Ezra’s outbursts and medical issues. As a former boxer, Max shares some knowledge with Ezra, though this may be seen as Max’s passing of the act of violence to another generation.
Maxine has done her best to protect Ezra from the reality of it all all along Prisoner’s daughter. She has kept their financial problems, Tyler’s drug issues, and even her father’s identity a secret in an effort to protect her son. However, once Max arrives, it all quickly falls apart.
Outstanding Kate Beckinsale role
Despite co-starring alongside a legend in Brian Cox, Kate Beckinsale steals the show with her performance as Maxine. She totally exudes the energy of an overworked single mother who works two jobs to make ends meet. She has a lot on her plate, and the timing of Max’s arrival complicates things even more.
When Max calls home for the first time to connect with his daughter, Beckinsale is shocked and confused as to why her father would want to call back after all these years. We’d want nothing more than to see a happy ending for the single mother, whose struggles and stresses shine through through her performance during its entire run. She wants the best for her son, the life she never had when growing up with a father inside prison and an alcoholic mother. Beckinsale is the glue that holds Prisoner’s daughter Together, she takes on the role of Maxine and works with him to deliver an excellent sit-down performance with some of the most memorable roles in her long career.
With all the star power behind the two leads, up-and-coming actor Christopher Convery has been given a tough task. The actor is asked to perform several emotional scenes alongside two Hollywood stars early in his career. At just 15 years old, Convery is cruising with the heavy subjects found all over the place Prisoner’s daughter. He has slowly appeared in more and more projects, including Pinball: The Man Who Saved the GameAnd almostAnd Weird thingsAnd Chicago MedAnd GothamAnd The girl in the spider’s web.
Unfortunately, the writing behind his character leaves a bit to be desired, as more often than not, he is left as a typical bullied teenager. Fortunately, many times around Prisoner’s daughter He appears to be more attentive than his mother initially thought. As mentioned earlier, she thinks she can hide Ezra’s grandfather under his nose in her uncle’s mask. However, he soon catches up to this, making what could have been a long, drawn-out plot point all the more believable.
Ezra’s conversation with Max after a heated family argument is also a highlight of the film, as it builds on the characters’ heart in the movie Prisoner’s daughterwhich was intended to be explored further throughout the film.
Themes of violence, regret and forgiveness
The cycle of violence is evident throughout Prisoner’s daughter. Max was not the kindest father, as Maxine’s childhood was fueled by bad decisions and alcohol. This also continued, as Ezra’s father was an abusive, drug addicted man. While at work, Tyler suddenly appears, looking forward to having a conversation with Maxine. Of course, this does not end well, with violence being the only solution Tyler can think of. This has devastating consequences for Maxine, adding to her frustration with her ex-husband.
Max then resorts to teaching Ezra a form of violence due to the constant bullying at school. Although this may be what Max thinks is the best solution to his problem, it only reinforces a prevalent ideology throughout the family. Finally, in the third act of the film, violence reaches a boiling point at Ezra’s birthday party. Again, Tyler appears, and he sees Max quickly enough. The cycle of violence continues, and Max handles the situation the only way he knows how.
Overall, the ending may not quite stick to the landing, but it’s enough to deliver a mostly satisfying conclusion to the family drama. Unfortunately, the expected story falls flat Prisoner’s daughter than it could have been a deeper character study. It’s as if there should have been an extra 30 minutes or more added to the movie, as the best emotional moments between the cast often end as soon as they begin.
Fortunately, it’s the offers we get that elevate the movie into a worthy project. Christopher Convery does well with what he has to offer as Ezra, a conflicted son who wants a father figure in his life but has two men with troubled pasts and uncertain futures. Brian Cox, of course, also delivers a compelling portrait of a recently paroled convict who clearly has some good intentions in the last few months of his life. A sense of remorse shines through in his personality, and his imminent annihilation is present every step of the way. Once again, Kate Beckinsale leads the way Prisoner’s daughtergives a great performance as the troubled Maxine.
no, Prisoner’s daughter Don’t reinvent the wheel with regards to her story. Still, the drama is worth a watch due to its three lead roles, who all give their roles and expertly portray the complex and confusing family dynamics that come with an estranged father moving back in with his daughter when their relationship ended long ago.
Prisoner’s daughter Releases in select theaters June 30th.