Sean Gleason / Sony Pictures Classic
There have been many beautiful movies over the past several years about characters who are struggling with the rise of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, such as Away from herAnd the Still Alice And talking Colin Firth/Stanley Tucci drama Supernova. But few of them have gone so deeply and disturbingly into breaks for a degenerate mind like the father, A powerful new room drama based on the glamorous lead performance of Anthony Hopkins.
At this point in his long career, Hopkins seems to have exhausted his ability to surprise us, but his work here is nothing short of amazing. He showed us a man whose mind had turned into a prison, in which we are completely trapped by his side.
His character, also named Anthony, is 80 years old and suffers from dementia. At the start of the movie, his daughter Anne – played by the gorgeous Olivia Coleman – stops by his London apartment to check on him. Her father’s condition took a turn for the worse, and his mood fits became severe enough to send his last nurse to pack him.
Anthony is stubborn and defiant and insists he can manage his affairs on his own. But this is clearly not the case, given his habit of misplacing his belongings, such as a watch that mysteriously fades from his wrist, and his inability to remember names and faces, including Anne.
Like the father He continues, the more it becomes clear that his mind is playing the tricks on him. What makes the film so disturbing is the way it directly links us to its subjective experience, so that the foundations of the story seem to change randomly from scene to scene. We are in a sea of Anthony’s memories. Every new development of the plot undermines what came before.
A man suddenly appears in the apartment, claiming to be Anne’s husband, which is strange, because just a few moments ago, Anne appeared to be celibate. Anne goes grocery shopping, but when she returns, it is not played by Olivia Coleman but by another actress, Olivia Williams.
The apartment itself, brilliantly designed by Peter Francis, starts transformation on its own. I noticed tantalizing contradictions – wasn’t there a lamp on the hallway table a moment ago? Weren’t those kitchen cabinets a completely different color? – and suddenly he realizes that Anthony’s mind is blurring the different timeframes together. At some point, it becomes unclear whether we are in Anthony’s apartment or Anne’s apartment, to which Anthony has been moved because he can no longer live alone.
the father Hence, it is a detective psychological thriller and the movie An Incognito Haunted House. It’s a very clever and polished cinematic piece, and it makes a great debut for French writer and director Florian Zeller, as he adapted his popular play with the veteran screenwriter. Christopher Hampton.
You can feel how well this material works on stage, as it’s easy to slide between layers of reality. But it works beautifully on screen, too. The general complaint about most stage-to-screen adaptations is that they end up feeling a lack of ventilation and a fear of closed spaces. But these qualities are a bonus in anything the father, And deepening its image of falling cognitive.
Remarkably, none of the film’s dazzling superficial tricks undermine the emotion at its core. The story is in the father It may be disorienting, but it is also heartbreakingly simple: a man grows up and loses his memory, and his daughter, after a life of love and dedication, must begin the long, agonizing process of saying goodbye.
Hopkins could deliver this performance on an empty sound stage without losing influence. It shows us Anthony’s struggle to keep his wits about him, and the way he accesses humor – then anger – as a way to keep the inevitable away. In the end, though, all of his last defense was stripped, and Hopkins showed the character with a weakness I rarely saw from him or any actor. It’s a devastating performance – and it’s impossible to forget.