A woman struggles with her aging father, who is
on the onset of dementia and refuses to accept it.
The Father (2020)
Directed by Florian Zeller
Written by Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller
Starring Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss,
Olivia Williams, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell
Based on the stage play by Florian Zeller
Oscar Wins - Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins),
Best Adapted Screenplay
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress
(Olivia Colman), Best Film Editing, Best Production Design
Dementia is one of the saddest and scariest things we can go through as human beings. To forget the faces of your loved ones is a truly awful curse, and watching a loved one forget your face is just as heartbreaking. The Father shows us both sides of this depressing coin and excels thanks to the flawless performances of Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. You can't pick a side because there's no villain here. Just time and the ever-ticking hourglass.
Anthony is an elderly gentleman living alone in his flat. He refuses to accept a nurse, no matter how much his daughter Anne (Colman) tries to help him. We time jump quite a lot throughout the film, which gives us the opportunity to look at life through Anthony's eyes. At first, he's obstinate, rude, even manipulative in the way he treats his daughter and anyone who treats him like an invalid. But as the film progresses, so does his illness, and we see him mentally crumble into metaphorical dust. It's a remarkable performance from Hopkins, and I can see him swiping a second Oscar for it.
The Father is a thoroughly depressing movie, but also painfully realistic in the way it depicts a family struggling with dementia. Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman are fantastic, and the supporting cast all hold their own alongside them. I think this film has a decent chance at this year's Oscars, though the competition is pretty stiff. I guess we'll see.