Anthony Hopkins became the oldest actor to receive the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar for this extraordinary multi-layered portrayal of a man struggling to make sense of the people and world around him as dementia slowly takes hold. Anthony is a fiercely independent, quick witted 79-year-old with a cheeky grin and a twinkle in his eye, but increasingly another Anthony shows himself – confused, distressed and disorientated. Both Anthonys stubbornly reject or drive away the carers that his daughter sets him up with.
Adapting his award-winning play, writer-director Florian Zeller makes an astonishing feature debut, scooping a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for a film that profoundly immerses us in the labyrinthine chaos of Anthony’s mind, playing tricks and constantly forcing us to question what is unfolding in front of our eyes. Hopkins is ably supported by a stellar British cast including an Oscar-nominated Olivia Colman as his loving daughter who is powerless to help and can only watch as the father she knows and loves slowly slips away.
Including its two Oscars, the film has received 131 award nominations and has won 24. these include BAFTAs for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Leading Actor and BIFAs for Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Editing.
‘Combining mystery and psychodrama, The Father is a majestic depiction of things falling away… Zeller’s relentlessly subjective approach places us slap-bang in the middle of Anthony’s distorted memories. It’s a brutal, terrifyingly simple technique, backed by a production design that manipulates the details of his surroundings just enough to make us question where — and when — we are.’ - Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times.
‘Writer/director Florian Zeller… has pulled off a dazzling feat here… Struggling to navigate this muddied mélange of past and present is a brilliant Hopkins, giving a performance that’s both charismatic and ferocious… It’s some of the absolute best work of Hopkins’ lengthy and storied career… Olivia Colman is consistently his equal.’ - Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com
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