It's Father's Day today, and since we've already looked at some of the worst dads in film, it leaves us free and clear to celebrate the good ones. And fortunately enough, there are plenty of good portrayals of fathers in films. Ones who subvert the conventions of the stereotypical distant father, and ones who listen to their children and offer them the best advice. Below is a list of fathers who do just that.
After a barracuda attack, Marlin lost his partner (were they married?) and hundreds of his children apart from one. Marlin was understandably overprotective of Nemo, which resulted in Nemo resenting him. After everything they were put through, Marlin learned to trust his son and let him go, which ironically led Nemo to growing more attached to his father.
When his daughters tell him about seeing spirits around their new house, Professor Kusakabe doesn’t distrust them, but instead listens and offers his own opinion. Despite his wife being in hospital from a mystery illness, he's determined not to let that drag the spirit of his daughters down and does his best to keep them happy.
With five daughters and no son to carry on his name, Mr Bennett seemingly gives up on progressing in society, he buries himself in his study and pays little attention to the scandalous activities of his younger daughters. When his wife attempts to force his daughter Elizabeth into marrying a man she detests in order to secure their financial stability, he approves of Elizabeth's rejection, because he knew she wouldn’t be happy, despite the risky position it puts the family in.
Despite the murder streak, at his core Bryan (Liam Neeson) is a great dad. He sacrificed his life to save his daughter, and in Taken 2 that relationship progressed when Bryan was captured and his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) played a part in saving him, great teamwork!
All three main characters were raised by bad fathers: Judy (Natalie Wood) has a father that refuses to show affection toward her; Jim Stark (James Dean) has a father that simply can’t understand him; And Plato's (Sal Mineo) parents barely see him. James Dean's character takes the others under his wing and becomes a father figure to them, though those lines get blurred as the story progresses. Despite Dean's rebellious image, Rebel Without a Cause brought out his paternal and tender qualities, which ultimately contributed to his iconic status.
Gandalf - The Lord of the Rings trilogy
"So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought."
Who's missing from our list? Who deserves to be recognised as the pinnacle of movie fatherhood? Explode forth with incredulity in the comments below.