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Table for Five

By N.F. Mendoza

The initial concept of this remarkably poignant film may not be sexy, but it's well-executed and genuinely touching and easily brings its audience into the moving story. J.P. Tannen (Jon Voight), a divorced, absentee father, takes his three children, Tilde (a beautiful, heartbreaking Roxana Zal), Truman-Paul (Robby Kiger), and Trung (Son Hoang Bui), on a European cruise, during which a tragedy occurs at home. The emotionally charged setup of a father trying to reconnect with his children may be familiar to many people. Versatile writer David Seltzer (Lucas) melds realistic dialogue, conversations, situations, and reactions in a subtle, credible manner, giving his characters many levels and sincere depth. It's this realism that makes the story all that more compelling--Tannen is neither ogre nor saint, and his children are like real children: they're embarrassed by their insecurities, they act out, they crave affection. There are no one-dimensional characters either. Tannen and his ex-wife (Millie Perkins) maintain a distant fondness for each other, as she understands and finally accepts his foibles. Her husband, Mitchell (Richard Crenna), genuinely loves Tannen's children as he would his own. Party of Five is blessed with great talent, including the youngest stars.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)DVD unavailableSoundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Robert Lieberman

Stars: Jon Voight, Richard Crenna, Marie-Christine Barrault, Millie Perkins, Roxana Zal, Robby Kiger, Son Hoang Bui, Kevin Costner

Released: June 17, 1983

Availability: VHS


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