Rough stuff traded in

Rough stuff traded in

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By Adrian Wan

At 66, Robert De Niro, may no longer display the robust agility he showed as recently as the 2008 crime thriller Righteous Kill. But his foray into comedy hits like Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers showed he'd always have a previously undetected comical side.

De Niro's career takes another turn in Everybody's Fine. He again plays a father, but this time not with humour but poignant emotion.

In this remake of a 1990 Italian film Stanno Tutti Bene by director Giuseppe Tornatore, De Niro's character is a recent widower. He travels across the US to pay surprise visits to his children when they cancel a trip to the family home. But despite his fatherly pride, he discovers their lives are far from picture perfect.

Should we be honest with the ones we love even when the truth is troubling? Everybody's Fine explores this question in a calm and intelligent way. The film's surprising severity and emotions are totally at odds with its typical romantic comedy poster.

Good art often takes you on a journey which sheds light on matters in life, and this moving film certainly does it well. Great performances by De Niro and other the actors, and decent cinematography help to communicate the interesting questions the movie raises.

Everybody's Fine is a film for those who are up for something more in-depth this holiday.

YP rating: 4/5

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