The Father (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama, Mystery
Director: Florian Zeller
Distributor: Cinéart
Duration: 97 minutes

The Father (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Amazing acting performances, Profound storytelling
Bad: The movie can be better appreciated on a second watch
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The Father is a psychological drama that saw a significant delay in its release due to the pandemic. After premiering at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, it had a limited theatric release and toured around various other film festivals (where it won several awards) before finally becoming available through video-on-demand and now on DVD. With Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins in the main role, and the movie itself winning the Oscar for Best Scenario, it shouldn’t surprise anybody to know The Father has been well-received, and it’s a worthy watch if you want a good tug on the heartstrings. Before getting comfortable, be sure to bring some tissues along for this one!

The Father is an adaptation of Florian Zeller’s 2012 play of the same name, and he actually worked as the director on this movie too. It gives us an intimate look into the mind of an older gentleman named Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), who suffers from severely progressed dementia and is often at odds with his caretakers. He is mainly looked after by his daughter Anne (Olivia Colman) and even lives with her and her husband (Rufus Sewell), though his presence and the amount of care he needs puts a significant strain on the relationship. To make things easier to bear, they try to bring in professional caretakers, though Anthony is prone to chase them away or act aggressively towards them. Laura (Imogen Poots) is the most recent of these employees, who has to try and find her place in this atypical situation.

Because the movie is actually telling the story from Anthony’s point of view, it tends to be deceiving on purpose. Characters might change appearance on a whim, the small apartment Anthony thinks he lives in is possibly not even his apartment at all, and he is far from a reliable narrator. The result is that we feel just as confused as him, making it impossible to take anything we see at face value, as well as making it equally as impossible to trust Anthony’s memories. It’s a harrowing but hard-hitting display of what suffering from something like dementia would be like.

This rather interesting approach to storytelling might be what holds the movie down a little in the end. Its running time is not too long at least, but it’s hard to not feel as if you need to rewatch it once you get to the end. There are so many small details that won’t shine through on your first watch, and this might make the movie feel like a confusing mess at places. We can tell this is at least partly intentional, but it might not be everybody’s cup of tea. That being said, this movie is a phenomenal experience, but you might just need to get two viewings in before appreciating the nuances and details. Thankfully there is a lot more good than bad to The Father and the acting performances, in particular, deserve a shoutout.

We already mentioned Anthony Hopkins is an Oscar winner, but Olivia Colman is as well. And every single actor in this movie is clearly putting their all into their roles. We can almost feel the unique pain it brings to be losing a loved one because of their deteriorating mind, instead of a physical death. Hopkins has us thoroughly convinced of the grief he faces when his character realizes his own situation, helpless to stop the slow decaying of his own memories. It’s a really heart-wrenching feeling.

The DVD comes with a short sequence of deleted scenes. These scenes are fairly interesting and they shed some light on other ideas that could have been inserted in the movie. Sadly, as is common with Cinéart releases, the extras do not come with any subtitles, which is a downright shame, not only for non-native speakers, but also for those with a hearing impairment.


The Father is not an easy watch, leaving the viewer emotional, confused, and at some parts out-right scared. The movie also works really well thanks to Anthony Hopkins’ acting performance, as he makes the entire experience very believable. We can easily recommend this movie for those looking for a very serious movie, and the topic of The Father might hit close to home for some, making them very emotionally invested. We found the movie to be very impactful, and we won’t be forgetting it any time soon.

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