Flag Day

Flag Day Trailer

This movie is based on the semi-autobiographical novel “The Flim-Flam Man” by journalist Jennifer Vogel, about a larger-than-life but hugely imperfect father who would do anything for his family, including, apparently, robbing banks and counterfeiting. Sean Penn, one of the top actors working today, is apparently also a great father. I say this because he saw the story as a fine opportunity to launch the acting career of his daughter Dylan (her mom’s Robin Wright). And then, in addition to his directorial duties, he cast himself as the flawed father, perhaps to make sure anyone went to see it.

The film soars whenever Penn the elder is on the screen. As usual, he’s entirely convincing through a range of emotions and situations. No surprise there. But his is essentially a superbly acted supporting role, as the story is centered on the daughter.

It’s entirely possible that Dylan has inherited some of her father’s acting chops. It’s just not on display here. Overall, it plays like a high-end, stylish, art-house soap, a bit screechy, with more than a little grandstanding and a tad too much self-importance.

Streaming on Amazon Prime now. (109 min)