One of the most profound fears of aging is the fear of losing our mental faculties. The Father, the gripping debut from acclaimed writer Florian Zeller adapted from his own 2012 play, confronts this anxiety by melding punchy domestic drama with subdued psychological torment. Told almost entirely from a first-person perspective, the film brings to life a beloved patriarch’s decline into dementia.
Sir Anthony Hopkins gives a gut-wrenching, Oscar winning performance as Anthony, an affluent Londoner unwilling to admit to his daughter Anne (Olivia Colman) that he is no longer able to care for himself. When Anne brings in a nurse, Laura (Imogen Poots), to provide care for Anthony in advance of Anne’s planned move to Paris, he goes from charming and flirty to brash and insulting. Neither his daughter nor his nurse know which version of Anthony will show up each day.
When Anthony wakes up bewildered in a home he doesn’t recognize — with people we don’t recognize — it becomes palpably, painfully clear to us just how far and how quickly reality is slipping from his grasp.
MAC’s reopening cinema programme has been generously supported by BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience fund from the National Lottery, through the BFI Film Audience Fund.
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