This Is My Father (1999)

This Is My Father Poster

When schoolteacher Kieran Johnson discovers that his father was not a French sailor (as he had been led to believe) but rather an Irish farmer, he looks to his mother for answers. When she refuses to provide any, Kieran travels to Ireland.

"This Is My Father" is a 1999 American drama movie, directed by Paul Quinn and co-written by Paul Quinn along with his sibling, the actor Aidan Quinn. The acts of Aidan Quinn who plays Kieran O'Day, the terrible central character embeded in 1930s Ireland, James Caan as Kieran O'Day, and John Cusack as Eddie Sharp. The piece artfully weaves together the themes of culture, household, love, and tragedy.

Plot Summary
The story focuses on Kieran Johnson (James Caan), a disheartened Chicago instructor on a trip of self-discovery to Ireland. Bothered by his mom's deathbed confession of being fallen in love with a mystical Irishman, he decides to unwind the fact about his ancestry. Kieran journeys with his nephew Jack (Jacob Tierney) with the hopes of comprehending the story of his mother's past and his real identity.

When they reach Ireland, they persuade a weak old female named Fiona Flynn (Moira Deady) to recount the story of his mom's youth and the identity of his genuine father. Quinn diligently unfolds the unraveling of swirling secrets filled with buried tricks and prohibited love. Lingering in a bygone age, the narrative flashbacks to pre-war 1930s Ireland, representing the love affair in between unmarried woman Fiona Flynn and an ignorant, gravedigger - Kieran O'Day.

Characters and Performances
Aidan Quinn delivers a poignant and effective representation of Kieran O'Day, a modest outcast, and foster child, who regardless of society's reject handles to win over the heart of Fiona, played by Moya Farrelly. Their romance, however, deals with the stern displeasure of society resulted in their separation, leading to an unforeseen and heartbreaking chain of events.

James Caan convincingly plays a middle-aged schoolteacher who battles with the understanding of being a kid of illegitimate love that was hidden from him his whole life. His journey with his nephew Jack is as much of unraveling the past as it is about finding himself.

The story ultimately uncovers the tragic ending to Kieran O'Day and Fiona Flynn's love story that results in the birth of Johnson (Caan). The climax exposes that Fiona's brother killed Kieran out of anger, and Fiona, grief-stricken and pregnant, immigrated to America where she brought to life Kieran's kid.

In the end, Caan, filled with the newfound knowledge of his past, go back to his homeland, at peace with his identity, closing out a haunting and melancholic story.

General Impressions
"This Is My Father" is an impactful drama that explores the depth of prohibited love, societal preconception, embarassment, and identity. With its strong performances and a story that hooks the audience, it's an exceptional expedition of forgotten pasts and self-realization. The story is stark and unpolished, revealing the raw human emotions, and the pain of enduring love and loss. The Quinn bros have brought to life a compelling story that resonates with audiences, stirring deep feelings.

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