"The Road," USA
"Last Ride," Australia
Imperfect parenting is astonishingly beautiful because it is true. I can't help thinking that mothers tend to pressure themselves to parent perfectly much more than fathers do. Yet perfectionism in any form is debilitating. In "The Bicycle Thieves" the son trips over and hurts himself while crossing a street in the rain, his father doesn't even see it happen as he's too busy running ahead in search of the man who stole his bicycle. Once they both find a place to shelter from the downpour the son begins to swat at the mud on his legs, his father asks him what he's doing, he responds "I FELL before, you know." The father looks at him for a long moment, shrugs and then hands him an already filthy handkerchief. I love that scene, and I wish we saw more scenes like that with mothers and daughters.
In the words of Roger Ebert: "Simple, direct and true."