Review: The Father


Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) suffers from dementia and refuses to have an in home nurse, though his daughter Anne (Olivia Colman) insists. He needs the help, and she can't always be there to provide it. Anthony struggles to cope with his ever changing circumstances.

Movies surrounding dementia rarely work for me personally. I hated Amour, and was underwhelmed with Still Alice and Away From Her. Because of my previous track record, I wasn't in a rush to see The Father. Alas, this was the finally Best Picture nominee I had to see, and everyone is raving for Hopkins performance. So I forked over the PVOD rate and gave it a watch.

From a technical standpoint, there's much to admire about this. The film really puts you in Anthony's shoes and makes you question everything. The sets, and sometimes even the people change. You're never sure what's real and what isn't. I thought the film was spectacular in that regard. The majority takes place in a singular flat, put the production design is expertly crafted and never makes it feel boring. 

Hopkins is as wonderful as everyone says he is. It's a very heartbreaking performance, as is Colman's. I remarked once how every time I see Olivia Colman, I just want to give her the biggest hug ever and I felt that way even more so while watching this. But as relentless as this film is, I felt a little cold towards the end, which was not what I was expecting. I was prepared to be devastated. Old men crying is such a huge weakness for me and I was ready to be an absolute baby about this but when it ended, I was just like "Oh, that's not what I was expecting." It lacked a bit of closure.

Or you know, maybe that anxiety medication I started taking is finally working. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I used to be a dancer." - Anthony (Anthony Hopkins)

Comments

  1. I do want to see this film and expect Anthony Hopkins to be great in it. I like Still Alice and really liked Iris because it showed what a vibrant woman she was to be cut down by this dreaded disease. My mom was so amazing, bright, intelligent and a rebel who really helped people without knowing it. When she got vascular dementia I was watching her die and, as a caregiver, it was so, so difficult. It is beyond difficult because many don’t believe you at first when you state how hard it is. They can be so defiant and willful, when I would visit my mom in long term care, I would see the other residents where many just laid there and could no longer talk because they forgot how. I wondered who they were, what did they do...what did they like or dislike. When I watch these films, I actually see from a different perspective. I look to see if they got things right and so Iris is one of the closest that did for me. I hope The Father does the same.

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    1. It's such an awful unforgiving disease. That's a big part of why I have issues watching it. Forgetting so much is devastating.

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    2. You are so right. It’s very sad and when I found my mom’s writings and math problems. She knew something was wrong and was desperately trying to keep her brain active. I just bawled.

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    3. I just watched this film and it really hit me hard because they got so many things spot on. His confusion and meanness, the paranoia and the Uber focusing. The one thing he did not do too much was shuffling his feet. Most start doing that from early on. When he was crying out of sadness and confusion...it made me cry as did when he was so mean to Anne. When he made her feel guilty for disposing of him...my mom said this often to me and it hurt. I would give this film anA-.

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    4. Him crying and asking for his mother to fetch him was so rough. I'm glad you enjoyed the movie even if it was a hard watch for you.

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  2. Glad you gave it a watch. I've seen in twice and both times left me at a loss for words. I think the ending worked for me because (at least in the case of my family members who have had dementia) there is no real closure. That's part of the tragedy. My wife's grandmother lost her mind to dementia but was physically was in great health. So she spent years in a facility not remembering herself or her family. Simply crushing.

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    1. It's very crushing. When my grandmother suffered memory loss, she already wasn't in great health. It just makes me sad and that's never a pleasant viewing experience.

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  3. I do plan on seeing this soon and when it comes to Starz as I'm not in a rush to see it right away. I just got vaccinated today and don't feel the need to watch anything right now.

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    1. I hope the second dose is easy on you! I felt like crap for about 18 hours.

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