Potential patricides, seeking how-to tips should know that the title, How I Killed My Father, is not to be taken literally. No actual murder is committed in this icily elegant psychological drama (in French, with subtitles), though the protagonist, a successful 40-year-old doctor, and his long-absent father, also a physician, do end up tussling on the ground with the son's hands around Dad's throat and a murderous gleam in his eyes. How did the two reach this Oedipal pass?
The son, Jean-Luc (Berling), appears to have everything: a chic though barren wife (Natacha Régnier), a splendid home, a lucrative practice, a chauffeur and a mistress. But when his father (Bouquet, who's eloquently austere) shows up and starts scratching at the gleaming surface of Jean-Luc's life, the rot beneath is revealed. Cue the wrestling match. With Father, cowriter-director Anne Fontaine (Dry Cleaning) has made an intriguing film that raises more questions than it answers (how Gauling) about the never ending need for parental approval. (Not rated)