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Falling

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In his feature directorial debut, Mortensen stars as a gay man on a patience-testing mission to care for his ailing, solitary, and homophobic father (Henriksen). Falling lays out this family’s emotional battleground with careful attention to nuances that complicate the conflict. Mortensen uses sophisticated visual and aural techniques to take us inside the experience of both son and father. Henriksen delivers a towering performance as a man roiling with rage he can barely understand, and Laura Linney is terrific as John’s sister, Sarah.

Mortensen, working with longtime Cronenberg collaborators in production designer Carol Spier and editor Ronald Sanders, weaves the whole tale together to devastating effect.