Veteran British commercials helmers Karl Howman and Ethem Cetintas work through their own paternal anxieties in their self-funded debut feature, “Fathers of Girls,” wherein Ray Winstone’s dazed single father investigates events behind the suicide of his treasured only child. Downbeat pic, currently receiving token theatrical play in Blighty, is not an obvious winner on ancillary. Festivals rep the best chance for further exposure of this brief feature, modest in every sense, apart from its widescreen lensing.
Pic opens with the statement “One man’s daughter is another man’s lover,” something that presumably resonates with writer-helmers Howman and Cetintas and exec producer/star Winstone, collectively the fathers of six girls, three of whom lend perfs here. Widower Frank Horner (Winstone), a solicitor, enjoys an intense bond with his “princess,” Helen (Lois Winstone), a university student. Her unexpected overdose leads him to uncover her drug habit, hard-partying best friend (Chloe Howman) and eventually an older boyfriend (Glen Murphy). Ray Winstone’s muttering voiceover, one aspect of the actor’s notably contained performance, fails to amplify interest in these banal discoveries. Tech credits are decent, despite low-budget limitations; supporting thesps, however, are highly variable.