The most recent film screened as part of the NY Film Critics Series was “The Confirmation”.
“The Confirmation” is about a down on his luck dad who quits drinking. The film explores the relationship between father (Clive Owen) and son (Jaeden Lieberher) as they spend time to reconnect. In doing so and trying to get work as a master carpenter, his tools get stolen. The two then go on a bonding odyssey to reclaim them. Along the way he teaches his son about pride, respect, and the ways of our changing world; which at times is void of manners, honor, and grace. Their weekend adventure leads to a true family connection. It is an extremely satisfying, multi layered tribute to what it is really important in our confusing culture of eroding values.
Following the screening, Clive Owen, Jaeden Lieberher and the writer/director of the film, Bob Nelson (Nebraska) sat down for a Q&A.
Filling in for Peter Travers was Peter Bart who is a journalist and film producer. He is perhaps best known for his lengthy tenure as editor in chief of Variety. Bart was also a co-host, with film producer Peter Guber, of the weekly television series, Shootout on AMC which is seen in syndication in 53 countries around the world.
Peter Bart was an executive at Paramount Pictures as vice president in charge of production with notable pictures such as Rosemary’s Baby, True Grit, Harold And Maude, and The Godfather. He then become senior vp for production at MGM. He then joined variety as editor-in-chief in, and is still on as columnist along with his latest job at http://deadline.com/author/peter-bart/, a new announcement industry leader.
When asked what drew him to the film, Clive answered, “It starts with the script.” Clive described the script as beautifully written, very touching, poignant, funny, and very moving. After a phone call with Bob, whom he describes as one of the nicest guys, he knew this was a film he needed to do. “It was a very easy thing to say yes to.”
Bob Nelson makes his directorial debut in this film. It takes place in Kent, Washington, where he grew up and a place he shared many similar experiences from the film that he did with his own father, whom the story is partially based on.Clive discussed what it was like working with a first time director.” It is always great to work with a writer director because they know the impulse and intent behind everything they’ve written, and to have that close by you as an actor, is invaluable.”
Along with being interviewed by Peter Bart, there were also audience questions from VA, CA, NY, and AZ.
One viewer asked about the book “Undeniable” that was read in the film. The book was written by Bill Nye the Science Guy. Bob Nelson and Bill Nye have been friends since starting in television together while working on the show “Almost Live” in Seattle. The book had just come out when they started filming, and he decided to use it in the film.
Another viewer, “The movie feels like it embraces the spirituality of imperfections. How did you go about avoiding judgments and stereotypes?” Clive Owen replied “It was the one thing that attracted me to this script more than anything, is that it is very lacking in judgment.” Clive discussed how the film shows a lot of people having a tough time and are trying to make the best of it. “There is no element in the film that you are looking down on them or judging them.”
The film is now available on iTunes.
Check out the trailer below!