A Voyage Round My Father [DVD] 
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Sir Lawrence Olivier takes on the role of eccentric lawyer, Clifford Mortimer, in the 1981 film adaptation of Sir John Mortimer s autobiographical play, an unexpurgated yet affectionate portrait of his father.
Struck down by blindness in middle age, Clifford Mortimer continued to battle in the courtroom despite his decreasing ability to look after himself. A Voyage Round My Father explores the tempestuous relationship between father and son as the younger Mortimer (portrayed by Alan Bates) tries to come to terms with the bitter memories of his father, whilst still seeking his love and respect.
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When he was no longer able to act onstage, Olivier did his finest work for TV (most cinema films he appeared in were mediocre). He portrays to perfection the waspish, cynical, difficult, eccentric father who thus hides the agony of losing his sight in middle age and acts as if all was normal. He can on occasion be surprisingly helpful and understanding towards his son. All these facets of character are conveyed to perfection by Olivier, who has mastered the art of understatement so necessary for television performance. His performance is often extremely funny too, as when he sings "Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green" while the other parents sing a hymn at a school speech day. Physically, his performance is outstanding: he gradually ages from robust middle-age to sunken-cheeked, dying old man and his portrayal of blindness is uncannily realistic.
The filming of the English countryside and the gently nostalgic atmosphere add to the delights of "A Voyage Round My Father".
Not to be missed, for a witty, perceptive film and for the chance of seeing a truly great actor at his peak.
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