Tag Archives: Irving Franco

Unfortunate Son

Adam the First

by Rachel Willis

A father (David Duchovny) takes his son into the woods to reveal that he is not the boy’s real father in writer/director Irving Franco’s film, Adam the First.

Jumping ahead in time, Adam (Oakes Fegley) still lives with the man who’s not his father and a woman whom he calls mother (Kim Jackson Davis), but a disruptive event sets the boy on a quest to find his real father. What follows is a dream-like odyssey through the rural forests and swamps of Mississippi.

An underlying tension follows Adam throughout his journey. He makes several bad decisions (and a few good ones) while meeting a colorful cast of characters – all of whom seem willing to help him.  

The lush Mississippi backdrop provides a splendid setting for the surreal quality of the film. Though rooted in reality, there are several unusual features in Adam’s quest, and it helps to build tension as we wonder what Adam will do when he locates his father. Despite that anxiety, Adam carries an undeniable sweetness to him. You want him to make better decisions; you want him to find what he needs.

Each person that enters Adam’s life offers him something that he uses to continue on. Some of dialogue feels more natural than other – some character’s offer a little too much wisdom, a stumble in an otherwise very naturalistic film. But even with these (very few) weaker moments, each character comes to life in their own ways, bringing something unique to the table.

Even though this is a quiet film that takes its time getting from one scene to the next, there is never a slow moment. You’re content to follow where Adam leads. That’s not to say the movie doesn’t have a few explosive moments, but everything unfolds in its own time.

Franco masterfully balances each element of Adam’s story. Some of the film is heartbreaking, as Adam faces challenges that would hinder a less-determined person. But what Adam is searching for is what many of us want: happiness, security, family. Adam the First is a outstanding examination of the indomitable human will.