Movie Review: The Father

There was only one controversy in this years Oscars awards ceremony. Everybody was expecting the late Chadwick Boseman to win the Academy Award for best actor – becoming the 3rd posthumous award winner in Oscar history along with Peter Finch for “Network” in 1976 and Heath Ledger for “The Dark Knight” in 2008. Aside from this controversy, anyone who sees the great actor Anthony Hopkins play an older man suffering with dementia in “The Father” will have will immediately understand how Hopkins had to win best actor this year, and that would include Chadwick Boseman himself.

Even despite this horrendous year long Pandemic, I have been very surprised how difficult it has been to see a movie of the quality of The Father in the last few months. The Father has been in very few theaters and on demand in recent weeks. Nothing has been normal during with movie releases during the last year due to the Pandemic and we can only hope that this will return to more normal soon.

There have been quite a few movies about Alzheimer’s and Dementia in the last few years, but The Father is the first one I have ever seen that tells the entire story of the suffering, frustration and terror from the victim’s perspective. Throughout this entire 2 hour story the main character Anthony, played brilliantly by Anthony Hopkins confuses one person with another, remembers events that never happened, forgets events that did happen, does not know if he is living in his own house or the house of his daughter. He also never remembers that his youngest daughter died in a car accident some years earlier. All of this is made more agonizing by the screenwriter, who thought to tell this story through Anthony’s eyes until he eventually has no idea what is happening – almost as if he was being put through the most cruel of all college pranks. The acting of Anthony Hopkins, most especially within a devastating scene at the end of this film is some of the best I have ever seen. Of all the horrendous diseases and afflictions humanity has had to endure – Dementia and Alzheimer’s are two of the very worst. This movie shows the ravages of this disease better than any movie I have seen.

The acting is outstanding by all the actors in this movie, including Olivia Colman, Olivia Williams and Imogen Poots. I agree with the 98% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and I highly recommend this movie.