REVIEW: ‘The Father’


When I tell you I wasn’t prepared for what I saw … just know that you won’t be, either.

“The Father” comes to us from up-and-coming director, writer, and producer Florian Zellar and stars Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Coleman and Imogen Poots. Based on the stage play, this film tells the story of Anthony, an elderly man who refuses any and all help from his daughter as his dementia causes him to question reality and mistrust those who are looking out for him. What follows is … the deepest and realest mind screw I have ever seen in a movie.


To start, every performance in this film is masterful. Hopkins gives the best performance he has given in years and twice moved me to absolute tears. He gives a groundbreakingly realistic (and emotional) portrayal of someone who is suffering through the intensely confusing stages of dementia. And he absolutely deserved that Oscar win, no question.

Coleman also brings a lot of emotional weight to the table in playing his daughter who is struggling to keep her head up in this immensely difficult situation for her character. At a point in this film, it got to where I struggled to comprehend that they were acting, they are that believable.

I have to now talk about one of the most brilliant choices I have seen a director make when it comes to perspective: Zellar puts us in the mind of Anthony and gives us full view of what he is seeing and experiencing.

Throughout the movie, there are many people who come into his home, and we have no idea who they are. The characters have very little development in this movie, and we barely know anything about them at all, and sometimes we (the audience) are very hesitant to trust these people and are totally confused by them, just like Anthony.

It was the choice to allow the audience to become fully immersed in Anthony’s tragic mental descent that made this movie an absolute masterpiece. This film takes us on his journey through dementia, and I was just as unsure and confused as he was, and that took my breath away. Rather than seeing it from the perspective of his loved ones, we see it from his perspective. We see and experience his confusion and his grief as he begins to question his sanity, and it felt too real.

With such a delicate subject like dementia, Zeller has crafted a masterpiece in storytelling that I believe will be considered an instant classic.

Folks, I’m going to be straight up with you all … this film is flawless. I could do a little more of a deep dive on this one, but I won’t. The reason being is that it is so hard for me to talk about. The movie covers such a heavy subject and delivered the biggest emotional gut punch I’ve received in years.

“The Father” is now streaming on Amazon Prime for $19.99, and if this price scares you at all, trust me when I say that every person in the world who has even a shred of sympathy and wants a better understanding of one of the most devastating diseases humankind currently suffers from needs to see this film. It’s one that will stick with me for a lifetime.


Jury declares: A+