Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

The Father (2020)

Directed by Florian Zeller

Starring Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss


Cleverly structured movie, with editing and visual tricks that recreate Anthony’s confusion and delusion for the viewer. Not as disjointed and manipulative as Chris Nolan’s Memento, but definitely a step in that direction. Is there a movie that captures the excruciating and heart-wrenching experience of dementia more effectively?

The one scene I didn’t get was the pillow-smothering one. It wasn’t shot in a way to suggest that this was another of Anthony’s delusions. The only explanation is that his otherwise loving daughter actually carried out this horrific act, stopping herself before it took his life. It’s yet another moment that adds confusion and tragedy to the story.

Hopkins is an old man, but he can still act. I was intrigued to learn recently that Hopkins has Asperger’s. For many, that is a pathway to genius. Nice supporting performances. Imogen Poots has a bit of a Jude Law vibe.

If you’ve lived with someone with dementia, this hits hard. It gives us a real appreciation for the patience and empathy of their caretakers.

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