Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Olvia Colman Director: Florian Zeller Distributor: Lionsgate UK
“I don’t remember.”
Now available to experience and emote all over again on Blu-ray, The Father sees Anthony Hopkins deliver a masterclass, heart-breaking performance, subsequently and ultimately rewarded with his second triumph at the Academy Awards. Under the direction of Florian Zeller, whose creative vision is adapted from his own stage play, Hopkins – giving his best performance since the 90s – stars as Anthony, a retired gentleman and titular father to Olivia Colman’s Anne.
Here’s the issue: Anthony has dementia. Anne on the other hand frequently visits her troubled father, though often concluding with trauma for both Anthony and his daughter. Adding to the already existing issues, Anne is bound for France having met a new partner. On the lookout for a new carer for Anthony, how can she leave her father this way?
Shot like a stage play, The Father induces its viewer and places them within the viewpoint of Anthony, whose suffering is too much to comprehend. Often disorientating the viewer, The Father ensures that Anthony’s struggle with dementia is shared. To an extent, the flat itself becomes a character. Accompanied by Hopkins’ powerful emotion in dialogue, this film goes to great lengths at raising awareness of dementia for not only those living with it, but those too who are impacted by a family member or friend living with it.
The Blu-ray release of this special film not only presents the showpiece in a beautifully crystal clear display, but is accompanied also by an engaging and tremendous – roughly 30-minute – virtual Q&A featuring Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, and Florian Zeller. Though not loaded with a long range of extras, the virtual Q&A is enough to warrant the lack of bonus content. Zeller ensures that a layer of authentic wholesomeness is present with the Q&A when addressing the origins of The Father and its stage play. When a personal touch is layered to a touching and personal subject matter, the importance of said subject matter is immediately elevated.
With visuals exemplifying Blu-ray at its best, The Father presents both beauty and horror within an array of its imagery. The relationship between Anthony and Anne, though occasionally somewhat rockery, is a spectacle within itself. Existentially, the relationship between the characters, and the concept too, possess the ability to either be heartbreakingly relatable as a drama, or frightening beyond belief as a horror. Whatever the reading, Florian Zeller’s The Father is a terrifically excellent film, in full justification of its wonderful Blu-ray release.
The Father is now available to purchase in the UK on Blu-ray, DVD and digital here. Many thanks to Witchfinder and Lionsgate UK for the pleasure of this film.
This article’s featured image: By Source, Lionsgate UK, Fair Use