2020 ( UK, France ) ( Drama )
DIRECTOR: Florian Zeller
STARRING: Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss
This is a film about dementia. The Father, adapted from director Florian Zeller’s award-winning 2012 play, gives Anthony Hopkins a role designed to nearly break your heart: a role full of anger and displacement and uncertainty but, also, flashes of humour, a sprightly fullness of life. Reminders of who this man once was.
When the movie opens, Anthony is in trouble. His daughter, Anne (Olivia Colman), has gotten wind that her father has alienated yet another nurse. Before that nurse, there were three others. This is a matter of growing urgency but Anne has a life to live. She’s moved her father into her flat to keep an eye on him, but the situation is no longer tenable. Yet, she feels, she cannot abandon him.
With Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman delivering some of the best work of their careers, The Father presents a devastatingly empathetic portrayal of dementia. It’s tough to watch at times but Hopkins’ performance makes it impossible not to.