"Why do you keep looking as if there's something wrong? Everything's fine."
The Father follows a man suffering from memory problems as he refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality. I honestly don't know where to begin. This is a mind-bender for the ages. Florian Zeller adapted his play into a screenplay along with Christopher Hampton. Naturally, Zeller also directed the film as well. Had he not collaborated on this project, I don't think it would ever be the same. He brought so much to this through his writing and directing. The way he made this confusing for both the viewers and Anthony (Anthony Hopkins' character) only enhances the experience. The first 30 minutes had me questioning everything I was watching. More questions are answered as the film continues but not in the most conventional way. We have to piece everything together. Any when I say everything I mean literally everything. Characters, timelines, location, just everything. It's not till the last moments where absolutely everything comes together in a way that makes sense. The screenplay is strong in the sense of storytelling, though a little bit of clarity would've been nice at a couple parts, but the dialogue is even stronger. The scenes that Anthony Hopkins are in-and it's basically every scene-he has hefty monologues. Every single scene is an award winning scene for both the actors, writing, and directing. Zeller directs the hell out of every scene. He gets the most out of the actors through expression and blocking. I find that those who have worked with stage production, whether it's writing or directing, have a way of knowing how to send a message through the screen. I know the awards shows don't favor stage-to-screen directing as much but I hope Zeller can pull through.
Now if Anthony Hopkins doesn't win almost every award for his role, I'm going to be furious. If he doesn't win the Oscar it might go down as one of the biggest snubs in history. The only exception would be if Chadwick Boseman wins and it seems that they are going to campaign him in lead instead of supporting now. Hopkins goes through every emotion possible and takes the viewers with him. And like I said before, every scene he's in jail an award worthy scene. The very last scene had my pillow soaked in tears. The realistic acting and dialogue immersed you into the film and you forget this is acting. The same can be said for Olivia Colman. It's funny how she didn't become a household name until The Favourite. Now there's another chance she will get another Oscar. That is if she can beat Glen Close a second time. We, assuming you don't have severe memory problems, can associate with her character the most. She just wants what's best for her father but struggles to deal with his condition every day. Almost al of her scenes are heavy with emotional dialogue. Emotional doesn't always mean sad or angry, but the emotion put in to make the performance realistic is always evident. The rest of the cast does great as well. They don't have that much screen time, with the exception of Imogen Poots, but they use every minute they have. Speaking of Imogen Poots, I love to see how much she's grown as an actress. Every role keeps getting better and better. If she wasn't in the shadow of Colman, she very well could have a fair shot for awards nominations.
It's hard to express words for The Father. It's been over a week since I watched it and I still can't stop thinking about it. Once it finished I considered watching it again. Even though I had three classes the next day, I should've watched it again. Time flies by so fast while watching. What felt like 30 minutes turned out to be an hour. But it's the use of time that's done so well. Both in the sense of runtime and the time in the film, the execution couldn't have been better. When this comes out, whether it's in theaters or online, please, please, please watch The Father!
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