by Doug Schultz
1. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Right, so our hero (Oscar Isaac) visits his former-seaman father (Stan Carp), who is suffering from dementia (because of course he is), in an old age home, and he sings his dad's favorite song, "The Shoals of Herring" ("Oh, it was a fine and a pleasant day/Out of Yarmouth harbor I was faring/As a cabin boy on a sailing lugger/For to hunt the bonny shoals of herring"). We watch his father stare blankly out the window (because of course he does), showing no reaction to the truly beautiful, tender ballad. Then, just as the song ends, his face changes. A fleeting moment of recognition? Reconciliation? Pride? Nope. Dude just shat himself. Kudos to the brothers Coen for NOT giving us what we've been trained to expect. "Good to know what I have to look forward to."
2. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
3. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
4. True Romance (1993)
On the run from the mob after murdering a pimp and stealing a suitcase full of cocaine (i.e., a normal Tuesday for Heath), Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) and his new wife/former prostitute Alabama (Patricia Arquette) visit Clarence's estranged father, Clifford (Dennis Hopper), a former cop, for some help ("What do we do with all this coke?!"). Clifford tells Clarence that the police will assume that Drexl's (Gary Oldman) murder is drug-related, and that the cops won't be looking for them. He gives them some cash to get out of town, and they quickly head to Hollywood. Two things: 1.) in this example, the son is kind of the jerk (yeah, I know -- Clifford USED to be a drunk). Clarence shows up out of the blue (after not making contact for three years), and drops several bombshells in dad's lap -- information that later brings nothing but trouble (your favorite movie directed by Dan Aykroyd) for Clifford. And 2.) I mean, holy shit! That scene between Dennis Hopper and Chistopher Walken -- this is why we go to the movies, right?
5. The Savages (2007)
6. Affliction (1997)
7. Magnolia (1999)
Claudia Wilson (Melora Walters) is all kinds of messed up, and it's mostly caused by her dysfunctional relationship with her estranged father, children's game show host Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall). Listen (look), in a movie filled with all kinds of parental neglect, Jimmy Gator takes the asshole cake. When Jimmy Gator's wife (Melinda Dillon), whom he admits to cheating on, asks why he and Claudia don't talk, he, being an asshole, casually admits that she thinks he might have molested Claudia. But, like the asshole he is, he can't remember for sure. Classic molesting asshole.