Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman stars in this family drama about an elderly London man, slowly losing his mind and self to dementia, while his daughter does her best to care for him. Remarkable, even Oscar-worthy performances from these two fine actors, along with stylish directing from Florian Zeller, who wrote the original stage play, have a hard time overcoming an all-to-familiar story.

All the tropes of dementia are present โ€“ the growing confusion and memory loss, the increasing hallucinations and, of course, the wild mood swings. Zeller does a fine job of โ€˜gaslightingโ€™ the viewing audience to better experience what Hopkinโ€™s character of Anthony is going through. But that effect grows weary and the slow pacing and moody camera work make for a dreary experience where this fine movie fails to break out of its source material confinements.

Ultimately, THE FATHER, stunning in its lead performances, is hampered by a familiar story and stage play staging.

In Theaters on Feb. 26, 2021 in limited release.

Want a second opinion on THE FATHER – check out Aaron’s review here.

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David Freedman is the producer of all four Critics Choice Awards, a founding member of Moviefone, and a Platform and Springboard Diver

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