Papadopoulos & Sons (2012) **

April 3rd, 2013
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director/Script: Marcus Markou

Cast: Stephen Dillane, Ed Stoppard, Georgia Groome, Frank Dillane, Selina Cadell, Georges Corraface, Cosima Shaw, Frank Dillane

UK                   **                     105mins                     2012                           Drama

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Played by the numbers bog-standard British family feel-good fare, with Dillane playing Harry Papadopoulos: the man who ostensibly has everything, having worked his way up from humble beginnings in a fish and chip shop, to Businessman Of The Year and a father of three.

One suspects the reason this film found its funding is in the casting of Dillane in the lead. Although a fine English actor, he is just that, a quintessentially English actor, so finding him here as the youngest brother in a Greek family remains unconvincing, particularly as he makes no effort to go for the Greek thing at all in contrast to his brother Spiros, played larger than life by real deal Georges Corraface, with whom he grew up.

Having previously made a short film (The Last Temptation of Chris) with Ed Stoppard, this is Markou’s feature debut. The humour is broad and the characters correspondingly thin. There’s an unevenness to the piece as much in the writing as the performances, with some playing straighter than others, so Corraface and Stoppard in particular jar with the rest of the piece having gone for the more expansive.

There are no surprises and most of the ends are neatly, if predictably, tied up. Dillane is always watchable and ones sympathies are guaranteed, despite his Business carapace, bringing up as he is three children in the absence of their mother. But in the end, it’s not much more than a piece of fluff, surprising enough to be found as an out and out feature film, rather than a made-for-TV movie, where perhaps it more happily sits.

The younger cast, particular Georgia Groome (London To Brighton) and Dillane’s son Frank (Harry Potter) do well considering the narrow bandwidth on offer to them.

A naïve, insipid but resolutely inoffensive crowd-pleaser then, which won the Audience Award at the 2012 Thessaloniki Film Festival; aiming perhaps for a younger, undemanding audience. AT





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