Home The Roads Not Taken

The Roads Not Taken (15)

Cast: Salma Hayek, Elle Fanning, Branka Katic, Javier Bardem
Genre: Drama
Author(s): Sally Potter
Director: Sally Potter
Release Date: 11/09/2020
Running Time: 85mins
Country: UK/Swe/US/Pol/Sp
Year: 2020

Molly races across New York City in a taxi to spend the day with her father Leo and shepherd him to appointments with a dentist and an optician. The middle-aged patriarch is trapped for extended periods inside the prison of his mind and fails to answer the door to his nurse Xenia. When Molly finally gains access to the cramped apartment, which is located beside elevated subway train tracks, she remains a stranger to dishevelled and discombobulated Leo.


 

LondonNet Film Review
The Roads Not Taken (15)

Dementia is a cruel, heartless thief. It robs victims of their sense of identity and dignity while simultaneously stealing precious final moments from family and friends, who stare into the eyes of the people they love and are met with confusion and abject fear rather than warmth and recognition. London-born filmmaker Sally Potter OBE has a deep personal connection to the syndrome. She nursed her younger brother Nic, a musician and composer who was a bass guitarist for rock group Van der Graaf Generator, when he displayed early onset dementia until his death from pneumonia in 2013 aged 61…

The filmmaker’s experience drip-feeds into the eddying emotions of The Roads Not Taken, an intentionally disorienting drama about the relationship between a daughter and her scholarly father, who is slowly being consumed by the choking fog of dementia. Curiously, writer-director Potter keeps us perpetually at arm’s lengths from the characters and their anguish, offering us fragmented glimpses at a sun-bathed past and colour-bleached present that fail to coalesce into a richly detailed study of a broken family at tipping point. Potter’s most personal film may be her most frustratingly impersonal in its artful execution.

Molly (Elle Fanning) races across New York City in a taxi to spend the day with her father Leo (Javier Bardem) and shepherd him to appointments with a dentist and an optician. The middle-aged patriarch is trapped for extended periods inside the prison of his mind and fails to answer the door to his nurse Xenia (Branka Katic). When Molly finally gains access to the cramped apartment, which is located beside elevated subway train tracks, she remains a stranger to dishevelled and discombobulated Leo.

With considerable patience and effort, Molly and Leo make both appointments and an unwelcome trip to the ER, where acid-tongued ex-wife Rita (Laura Linney) makes a brief appearance. “Why does everyone refer to Dad as ‘he’, as if he’s not here?” despairs Molly. “Well is he?” coldly responds Rita, compelling her crestfallen daughter to contemplate the harsh reality of the situation. Meanwhile, Leo leafs through pages of his memory scrapbook, recalling emotionally bruising times with his first love Dolores (Salma Hayek) and a chance encounter with a pretty tourist called Anni (Milena Tscharntke).

The Roads Not Taken shuffles between polished slivers of Leo’s past and present without any profound sense of purpose. Fanning and Bardem are mesmerising, including one beautifully crafted interlude in a bathroom that mines soothing humour from distress. Potter stubbornly refuses to take the well-trodden path to our hearts, preferring a more circuitous route that only leads to frustration on and off screen.

– Sarah Lee


London Cinemas Showing The Roads Not Taken


From: Friday 25th September
To: Thursday 1st October

Fulham Road Picturehouse

Tue 17:20; Wed 14:45

Vue Finchley Road (O2 Centre)

Tue 15:15; Wed 14:15; Thu 17:50

Vue Islington

Tue 15:05

Vue North Finchley

Tue 15:25; Wed 16:40; Thu 21:30

Vue Shepherd’s Bush

Tue 14:35; Wed 17:35; Thu 15:00

Vue Westfield London

Tue 14:30 16:15 19:00; Wed 15:25 20:30; Thu 15:45 20:00

Vue Westfield Stratford City

Tue 15:30; Wed 15:40; Thu 14:55

From: Friday 2nd October
To: Thursday 8th October

East Dulwich Picturehouse

Fri/Sat/Tue 14:15; Sun 13:30; Mon 14:00; Wed 14:30; Thu 16:15

Fulham Road Picturehouse

Sat 18:00; Sun 17:00

Vue Finchley Road (O2 Centre)

Sat 17:45; Mon 16:10; Tue 15:45; Thu 17:05

Vue Islington

Tue 15:45

Vue Shepherd’s Bush

Fri 15:05; Sat 12:35; Sun 20:35; Mon 15:40; Tue 17:05; Thu 16:05

Vue Westfield London

Fri 14:10 20:00

Vue Westfield Stratford City

Fri 15:15; Tue 16:50; Thu 15:25

UK and Irish Cinemas Showing The Roads Not Taken


From: Friday 25th September
To: Thursday 1st October

Cineworld Aldershot

Tue-Thu 15:40

Cineworld Ashford

Fri-Sun 14:30 (Fri) 17:20

Cineworld Bolton

Tue/Thu 14:30 19:00; Wed 14:30 19:20

Cineworld Braintree

Tue/Thu 14:20; Wed 14:30

Cineworld Broughton

Tue-Thu 18:10

Cineworld Cardiff

Tue-Thu 13:20 18:10 (Tue/Thu)

Cineworld Cheltenham

Tue-Thu 14:40 16:40

Cineworld Chesterfield

Tue-Thu 15:50 18:10

Cineworld Crawley

Tue-Thu 12:10

Cineworld Didsbury

Tue-Thu 14:00 15:40 19:10

Cineworld Edinburgh

Tue-Thu 12:40 18:00

Cineworld Enfield

Tue-Thu 13:20 18:10

Cineworld Falkirk

Tue-Thu 15:40 20:30

Cineworld Feltham

Tue-Thu 14:00

Cineworld Harlow – Queensgate

Tue-Thu 17:30 19:50 (Tue/Thu)

Cineworld Hull

Tue-Thu 17:30

Cineworld Ilford

Tue-Thu 18:10

Cineworld Ipswich

Tue-Thu 14:20

Cineworld Isle Of Wight

Tue-Thu 16:00 20:30

Cineworld Llandudno

Tue/Wed 14:40

Cineworld Loughborough

Tue-Thu 14:30 17:20

Cineworld Luton

Tue-Thu 14:00

Cineworld Plymouth

Sat/Sun 13:20

Cineworld Poole

Tue-Thu 14:20 (Tue/Thu) 14:30 (Wed) 15:40 18:10 20:40

Cineworld Rochester

Tue-Thu 13:50

Cineworld Rugby

Tue/Thu 19:15

Cineworld Speke

Tue-Thu 14:00 18:50 (Tue/Thu)

Cineworld Swindon Shaw Ridge

Tue-Thu 14:30 16:40 (Wed)

Cineworld Telford

Tue-Thu 14:00 18:10

Cineworld Wakefield

Tue-Thu 14:40 17:00

Cineworld Wembley

Tue-Thu 17:30

Cineworld Weymouth

Tue-Thu 17:30

Cineworld Whiteley

Tue-Thu 17:30

Cineworld Yeovil

Tue-Thu 15:40 18:10

Cineworld York

Tue-Thu 18:10

Glasgow Film Theatre

Tue/Wed 17:30; Thu 18:15 20:45

The Dukes

Fri/Wed/Thu 12:30; Sat 19:30; Sun/Tue 16:00

Vue Bolton

Tue 14:20; Wed 14:25

Vue Bristol Longwell Green

Wed 14:05; Thu 15:55

Vue Doncaster

Wed 12:30

Vue Edinburgh Omni Centre

Tue 13:45; Wed 15:00; Thu 14:50

Vue Harrow

Fri 15:15; Sun 21:45; Mon 15:25; Tue 13:05; Wed 13:10

Vue Leeds The Light

Tue 13:45; Thu 15:20

Vue Manchester Printworks

Tue 14:15; Wed 13:25; Thu 13:15 15:30

Vue Oxford

Thu 15:30

Vue Portsmouth

Tue 13:20; Wed 13:35; Thu 15:40

Vue Reading

Tue 14:50; Wed 14:30

Vue Romford

Sat 11:55

Vue Sheffield

Tue 14:35; Wed 12:10; Thu 13:15

Vue Swansea

Tue 15:35; Wed 15:20

Vue Watford

Tue 13:10; Wed 15:20

From: Friday 2nd October
To: Thursday 8th October

Vue Birmingham

Fri 15:20; Sun 20:30; Mon 16:25; Tue 16:30; Thu 17:10

Vue Bolton

Fri 15:05; Sun 19:35; Tue 14:25; Wed 17:10; Thu 16:05

Vue Bristol Longwell Green

Fri 14:50; Sat 10:45; Sun 20:30; Tue 15:35; Wed 16:15

Vue Cheshire Oaks

Fri 16:10; Sun 20:45; Tue 15:30; Wed 14:50; Thu 15:40

Vue Doncaster

Fri 15:15; Tue 15:25; Thu 16:30

Vue Edinburgh Omni Centre

Tue 16:35; Wed 15:20

Vue Harrow

Fri 15:00; Tue 15:30; Wed 16:40

Vue Leeds The Light

Fri 15:20; Tue 15:50

Vue Oxford

Tue 16:30

Vue Plymouth

Fri 16:45; Sat 10:45; Sun 18:45; Mon 15:30; Tue/Wed 15:15; Thu 14:00

Vue Portsmouth

Fri 15:10; Sat 10:30; Tue 15:05; Wed 14:35; Thu 15:30

Vue Reading

Tue 15:35

Vue Romford

Fri 14:50; Sun 19:30; Tue 15:00; Wed 15:25; Thu 16:05

Vue Sheffield

Sun 20:45

Vue Swansea

Fri 16:20; Tue 16:05

Vue Watford

Sat 20:20; Sun 19:40; Mon 16:30; Tue 15:55; Wed 15:40