Viggo Mortensen

Kindness and sensitivity are the hallmarks of this season's movie dads

Kindness and sensitivity are the hallmarks of this season's movie dads

Over the years, there’s been no shortage of actors who have competed in the Oscar race for depicting a memorable father. Last year alone saw four performers nominated for portraying a dad, albeit a complicated one. They ranged from the traumatized (Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea”) and the angry (Denzel Washington in “Fences”) to the militant (Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”) and the figurative (“Moonlight’s” Mahershala Ali). (Affleck and Ali won the Oscars in, respectively, the lead and supporting actor categories.)

But this year has seen an especially heartening trend: a run of simply good, conscientious on-screen dads (including, again, one de facto dad), played by...

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