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THE FATHER

Florian Zeller

Almost eighty, mischievous, caustic, and defiantly living alone whilst suffering from advancing dementia, Anthony (Anthony Hopkins in a searing, Oscar-winning performance) rejects every home nurse that his daughter, Anne (Olivia Colman), lovingly introduces. Past and present conflate as Anthony struggles to differentiate memories from hallucinations and navigate the ever-shifting parameters of his apartment. Zeller, adapting his own acclaimed play, and making his feature directorial debut, brilliantly visualises Anthony’s disorientation and fear as his home becomes an unfamiliar space, and his loved ones strangers. The familiar scenario – an adult daughter must decide what to do with her ailing father – is invigorated through the inventive staging of the action, which is filtered for the most part through Anthony’s unreliable perspective. The Father is devastating in its depiction of how the disease strips everything away from those afflicted and the people closest to them.

97 mins, UK/France, 2020, Digital