Holy sh*t!!! Anthony Hopkins turns in one of the best performances of his career as he plays a man with dementia. There have been several movies that show the effects that dementia has on those around the person who is sick (THE NOTEBOOK, STILL ALICE and AWAY FROM HER), but none have shown the brutal effects of this disease from the patient’s perspective with such raw honesty…until THE FATHER.
As a kid, I grew up watching my Grandma suffer from dementia. There were times she’d yell at my dad to lose weight, thinking he was still in high school. Other times she thought I was a woman nurse demanding that she take her pills. It was heartbreaking.
Writer/director Florian Zeller adapts his play showing occurrences like these but from Anthony’s perspective. Is the nurse his daughter? Is his daughter going to Paris? Is his son-in-law abusing him? We don’t know. As the disease gets worse, we watch in fear as Anthony cries for his Mommy one minute and the next, is back looking for his watch.
This is miles away from the upbeatness of THE NOTEBOOK and that’s the point. This helluva disease destroys people.
This is a tough viewing experience, but one that demands your time once it is released on VOD the 26-Feb.
Want a second opinion on THE FATHER – check out David’s review here.