The Father earned rave reviews out of the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and from all accounts, it seems as if Anthony Hopkins is going to be in contention for another Academy Award thirty years after he won the trophy for playing Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs. In this movie, Hopkins plays an elderly man who slowly begins to lose his grip on reality, while fellow Oscar winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite) plays the daughter who’s trying to make sure he’s properly cared for.
The Father Trailer
The Father marks the feature directorial debut of Florian Zeller, who originally wrote this as a stage play back in 2012. That stage version won the Moliere Award for best play in Paris, and a few years later, Oscar winner Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons)’s riff on it ended up debuting in London’s West End and earning accolades for its lead performer. (Hampton and Zeller co-wrote the screenplay for this film version.) Frank Langella won a Tony Award for playing the lead role when the show moved to Broadway, and it certainly seems as if Hopkins is poised for some awards attention this time around.
But while Hopkins likely deserves the praise he’s been getting for this performance so far, I’m also curious to see Zeller translate this story for the big screen. The confusion of putting us in Hopkins’ character’s perspective pays off wonderfully in the trailer, so I expect it will pack even more of a punch in the film itself. Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), Imogen Poots (Green Room), Rufus Sewell (Dark City), and Olivia Williams (Dollhouse) co-star.
Here’s the movie’s official synopsis:
Anthony is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the carers that his daughter, Anne, encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her? The Father warmly embraces real life, through loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition; heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant – a movie that nestles in the truth of our own lives.
The Father is aiming to hit limited theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 18, 2020, but obviously that will depend on whether theaters in those markets have reopened by then.
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September 18, 2020