The Father Review

Anthony Hopkins is widely considered one of the greatest actors living today. His turn as Hannibal Lecter garnered him wide acclaim as he won his only Best Actor Academy Award in 1992 for Silence of the Lambs. Great performances as the eponymous former President in Nixon, Mr. Stevens in Remains of the Day, and Pope Benedict in The Two Popes have kept him at the top echelon of actors today and throughout history. But his performance in The Father might be the best of his fifty-year acting career.

Anthony is an elderly gentleman who lives in England. He has dementia which makes him unable to differentiate from his daughter (Olivia Colman) and his caregivers (Imogen Poots and Olivia Williams). Anthony’s illness causes him and others a lot of pain and suffering. Sometimes he doesn’t even know where he is. Viewers will also begin to question where he is as well. It’s confusing at times. The viewer is put in a position where they are in the shoes of Anthony.

Florian Zeller was the man who was in charge of the stage version of this story. It made sense that he would direct the film version. The screenplay by Christopher Hampton and Zeller is brought to the screen very effectively. Hopkins and co. verbalize the dialogue perfectly. The audience of the film is as disoriented as the characters are. That approach works very well. If those watching don’t know what’s going to happen next, how can the characters? Zeller kept everyone off balance throughout the film.

Sony Pictures Classics has stood out over the years. Their films have been among some of the best with actors giving great performances. In recent years, Glenn Close, Antonio Banderas, Willem Dafoe have all garnered Academy Awards nominations in the acting categories for films from Sony Pictures Classics. The Father is another film that will surely garner Oscar nominations for both Hopkins and Colman. This film is an actors’ showcase. This would be Hopkins’s second nomination in a row and Colman’s second in three years. They are both favorites to get nominations in this lean year for great performances.

Movies about people with dementia have been more prevalent in recent years. Early-onset Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia. Still AliceWhat They Had, and Away From Her are various films dealing with this form of illness. These films handle these portions of their stories very well. The Father is the best film that has tackled these topics to date. The filmmaker puts the viewer in the shoes of both Anthony and his daughter Anne so that they can see both sides of these debilitating diseases. The writers and director really bring this topic to light more than ever before. For the performances, writing, and direction this is one of the best films you’ll see this year.

4 Stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman Founder Lead Critic disappointment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: