HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
   
 
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
   
 
  Father, The State Of Confusion
Year: 2020
Director: Florian Zeller
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Olivia Williams, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Ayesha Dharker
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) has been a little mixed up recently. He had arranged for him a carer to look after his wellbeing, because his daughter Anne (Olivia Colman) could not attend to her ageing father as much as she would have liked, but he had been so obnoxious with the carer that she left shortly after, not wishing to be treated that way - she alleged he had physically threatened her, too. But Anthony was convinced she had been stealing from him, and that was all the excuse he needed to drive her away, if she had not been stealing, then where was his watch, for example. Anne explained it would be in his safekeeping place, but he was growing more confused...

The Father, an adaptation of writer and director Florian Zeller's stage play that, in French, had given that country's acting royalty Jean Rochefort his last great role, was made into a film under condition that Hopkins would play the lead (his character was even named after him). It had taken a while, but it felt like a vindication of all those roles where the Welsh star would show up trading on his Oscar win for The Silence of the Lambs and appear in tat that was beneath his talents: at last a part that not only had been written for him, but showed off his skills in a way that pantomiming his way through extended guest star bits would not, and he was rewarded with huge acclaim from many quarters.

Yet real life seems to have a habit of getting confusing when you get to a certain age, and while he was happy to be Oscar nominated again, he knew he would lose to the sympathy vote of Chadwick Boseman on the big night. Guess what - the big story of that ceremony (aside from the dwindling audience) was that this eightysomething white guy had yanked the statuette out of Boseman's grieving family's hands, when the truth was more that while the voters respected Boseman, they were more impressed by Hopkins when it came down to it. Once audiences got to see the performance, they understood, as the effect would not have succeeded without Hopkins, he truly held it together with remarkable ability.

Nevertheless, there remained grumbles even if the leading man was admired. For the naysayers, it was a technically impressive work but a cold one, possibly because Zeller refused to pander to the viewer and indeed required you to turn detective to work out what was actually happening through the filter of Anthony's deteriorating mind. Is Anne going to leave him for a fancy man in Paris? What happened to the other daughter? Is Anne's husband resorting to elder abuse to force him into a care home? Whereabouts in the story are we, anyway, day or night, breakfast time or dinner time, days ago or years ago? You could see why for some it remained academic in its tricks, and too studied in its clever structure to truly move them as a more conventional melodrama might; if anything, it resembled Roman Polanski's cult horror The Tenant, not a cool name to drop anymore but the seeds were sown there.

And yet, and yet, there was Hopkins, playing a character who we can discern may not have been the nicest guy before his dementia, but is finding the condition bringing out his worst qualities when he is not actively pathetic and bewildered. We perceive why Anne feels a duty to her parent despite him needing looking after beyond her means, a mixture of guilt and deep concern, but also why he is increasingly impossible to live with. Hopkins superbly judged his performance against whoever of the British thesps he was paired with scene to scene, and it usually was a two-hander, occasionally three; everyone rose to the task, but he carried a lot of acting baggage and that was a motive for watching his character's deterioration: so disturbing, when it was not depressing. Zeller had included details that many people would recognise from Alzheimer's sufferers in their own lives: not recognising those closest to them, believing they were being stolen from, forever wanting to go home or a terror of abandonment. It may not have been perfect in that respect, but it was a lot closer than plenty, and its leaning on chiller tropes was not, for once, hyperbole. Music by Ludovico Einaudi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 135 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: