Friday, March 12, 2021

Moving story of aging with 'Father' Hopkins and Colman finally shows up

It's been a while since we've watched those marvelous performances by Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman in "The Father," but the emotion-filled drama remains one of 2020's best films with today's long-awaited arrival in theaters everywhere.

Our viewing of writer/director Florian Zeller's play-based beauty came with coverage of September's 45th annual (and first-ever virtual) Toronto International Film Festival, already then a full eight months after its world premiere at Sundance. Now, of course, it still remains an Oscar contender, even if nominations for Critics Choice, Golden Globes and a few other competitions have not paid off with victories.

Among many possibilities, though, the one category that "The Father" seriously deserves to own this delayed awards season is for the distinguished film editing of Yorgus Lamprinos, whose sly cuts and starts here somehow manage to keep us firmly dispatched in the mind of a confused dementia patient.

The complex and troubling story begins softly enough with the title character (Hopkins) listening to a lovely bit of opera, then quickly heading into a heated argument when a daughter (Colman) asks Dad why he's fired "another" caretaker. "She stole my watch," he snaps. 

But did she really? And does it even matter among all the repeated conversations and scenes, subtle set changes and a world in which actors themselves occasionally play the same roles? By the way, in a fine ensemble that includes Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell and Mark Gattis, perhaps the most fabulous bit of casting is pairing the grand Olivia Williams opposite Colman in the same movie. I mean, wasn't it just yesterday that we were all getting the two of them mixed up in our own heads? Bellisimo!

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: some strong language and thematic material; 1:37; $ $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5


P... said...

The Editor is called Yorgos Lamprinos ... it's NOT Yorgos Lanthimos the Director!! They are different people! Easy mistake to make so you're forgiven!!

John M. Urbancich said...

I knew that! And it is a bad mistake! Thanks!

P... said...

Ha! No worries!