THE FATHER

★★★★

A DEEPLY MOVING LOOK AT MENTAL ILLNESS

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris dos Santos
14th March 2021

One thing the pandemic has made even more apparent its that, at the end of the day, awards season doesn't matter. Audiences don't care if a film is a critical darling and sweeps all the award shows - it has to be captivating and relatable to a modern audience. 'The Father' is the first drama in a while to engage both the critics and audience.

After various complications with carers as Anthony's (Anthony Hopkins, 'Thor: Ragnarok', Netflix's 'The Two Popes') health rapidly deteriorates, his daughter Anne (Colman, 'The Favourite', Netflix's 'The Crown') moves him into her home. But as Anne can't be his full-time carer and his continues fading away, should he be moved into a home?

'THE FATHER' TRAILER

Before we get into the film, let's discuss the poster - well, one of the main posters for the film. I believe it's the U.S. one (it's also the one currently used on Letterboxd), in which Olivia Colman has long hair. This is an extremely nit-picky thing to focus on, but never in the film's 97-minute run-time does Colman appear on screen with this hair. It just bugged me that a poster - the thing to advertise your film - would be incorrect. Luckily, the movie itself does nothing but get things right with its phenomenal performances and raw look at a mental illness.

Both Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins deliver exceptionally terrific performances. Personally, Colman as this woman torn between her personal life and being there for her father who, at times, doesn't even know who she is, resonated a little more for me, and once again proves what a force Coleman is on screen.

The film is also quite creative with how it depicts dementia. It's deeply heartbreaking to see play out.

The film is also quite creative with how it depicts dementia. It's almost a thriller in the way it makes the audience piece things together, especially if you go in unaware of what the film is about. First-time director Florian Zeller really takes you inside the mind of someone losing their memory, and it's deeply heartbreaking to see play out. We see scenes play over and over but with different actors, and it's not till the end that all the pieces truly come together.

'The Father' is a standout during this very bland awards season, but just because it's both a critical darling and awards frontrunner doesn't take away from the emotional power and stellar performances for Colman and Hopkins.

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