Father of Invention is a 2010 film starring Kevin Spacey, Camilla Belle, and Heather Graham; the film was released by Anchor Bay and has just been put out in the States. The story follows Robert Axle (Kevin Spacey), who was an inventor/T.V. personality that was thrown into jail for eight years due to creating a faulty product that maimed customers. After being released from prison, he comes back to a family who has abandoned him due to his past, selfish actions. Robert’s relationship with his ex-wife is not as important to him as is his relationship with his estranged daughter, Claire (Camilla Belle); Claire is not willing at first to give her father a chance, but after some thought, takes him in to live with her and her roommates. As Robert tries to regain his feet in the world, he learns the importance of being a father as well as being a decent human being.
Father of Invention is not a film that I have many words for, but that is not such a bad thing. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, even if it felt a little forgettable by the credits. The story is touching and the father/daughter dynamic holds your interest as well as the subtle humor. Spacey’s character is out of touch with the world he has been away from for eight years and he has lost his ability to communicate correctly with others; this added element made the main character’s struggle even more tragic at times.
It’s a movie to watch passively, you will not be uber-engaged to the screen at any particular moment, but Father of Invention makes for a great watch regardless. For most of the film, Spacey wears a fake mustache and it makes for some muffled dialogue which ruins some more emotional scenes. The idea of a man almost abandoning his entire empire for his daughter seems a little romantic and implausible, but I am willing to forgive because of the touching message. The film also has a hard time trying to get you to sympathize with Axle, but there are a few, key flashbacks that give the argument a little more weight.
I recommend that you go and check out this little gem; it won’t blow you out of the water but it’s entertaining, even if it’s not up to par with the rest of the Spacey catalog. I assure you that will also get enjoyment out of seeing Spacey dress up like a hipster and grab Heather Graham’s chest. What more could you want from a film?