The Father of My Children plays like two separate but related films grafted together, and though it segues smoothly from one to the other, there’s nonetheless a frustrating inconsistency to Mia Hansen-Løve’s drama. Her story’s opening half focuses on Grégoire (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing), husband to Sylvia (Chiara Caselli), father to three loving daughters, and a movie producer whose career is just about kaput. Mired in debt and incapable of fulfilling his obligations, Grégoire’s professional life is on the verge of imploding, and Hansen-Løve beautifully balances her portrait of the film industry’s inner workings and Grégoire’s mounting anxiety over impending catastrophes with snapshots of Grégoire with his clan, at home and on getaways, that enrich the film’s character-study depth. Whereas this initial section – in which Grégoire struggles to manage his business’ money problems while suppressing his fears from his wife and kids – draws one in both empathetically and suspensefully, an abrupt midway-point incident thrusts The Father of My Children down a more scattershot path, one in which the act of grieving and recovery takes center stage. Now intently concerned with Sylvia and her eldest daughter Clémence (Alice de Lencquesaing), Hansen-Løve’s tale delivers a combination of revelations, confrontations and mundane events. While that stew accurately reflects how life proceeds in the wake of tragedy – sometimes consumed with misery, sometimes dominated by the ho-hum – the film never quite manages to achieve a suitable focus, leaving its earnest, sensitive depiction of mourning and survival feeling undernourished.