The Father (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
WHILE THE 2021 Academy Awards may be done and dusted, the winning films from this year's event will be etched into history forever, particularly Florian Zeller's 6-time nominated familial drama which gave Anthony Hopkins his most profound and emotional performance in a career littered with countless ones.
Adapted from Zeller's award-winning 2012 play of the same name, The Father delves into the mind of Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), an aging dementia patient. Under the care of his daughter, Anne (Olivia Colman), Anthony begins to question his loved ones and his own stability as his mental impairment continually worsens in a thrilling, atypical analysis of one's subconscious.
Zeller takes audiences into a mind-bending, heart-wrenching tale of despair and believability completely carried by the unprecedented performances delivered by Hopkins and Colman. The star-studded pairing possess natural chemistry, realistically showcasing how dementia can so easily tear the concrete fabric of a father-daughter relationship through subtle mannerisms and sudden fits of anger and sadness.
Yorgos Lamprinos' nomination for Best Film Editing was rightfully earned, expertly adjusting certain angles and sounds to match the level of intensity portended for each scene. Lamprinos' editing is only enhanced by the simple, yet effective, cinematography of Ben Smithard, especially considering the one apartment set piece used for the 90 minute runtime.
There are only seven characters which deliver some form of dialogue, and each of them are written to near-perfection courtesy of Zeller's well-written original screenplay. Whether it be the leading duo of Anthony and Anne, or the differing personalities of Laura (Imogen Poots) and Paul (Rufus Sewell), each actor is given solid dialogue to work with, allowing their tremendous performances to shine even brighter.
Being able to tug at an audience's heartstrings is no easy feat. Every element must miraculously come together in order to create authentic connections with not only the story, but the characters as well.
And as expected, The Father turns the story of Anthony's puzzled mind into a picture perfect representation of chronic mental impairment which, despite tackling the difficult subject of the dementia, will not be forgotten any time soon.