While many Films before have tackled the issue of Dementia and father-daughter relations, we have yet to see it treated as delicately and with as much sympathy as this. Florian Zeller co-written and directed THE FATHER left us mesmerized and devastated at once.
Anne (Olivia Colman) is ready to move on with her life and desires to move to Paris. Her father Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) has been able to take care of himself for quite some time but now is battling Dementia. Anne takes him in to live with her and her husband Paul (Rufus Sewell). This causes strain on their marriage and it becomes increasingly-difficult for her to achieve balance in her life as she navigates Anthony‘s unpredictable mental and emotional spirals where he finds himself sometimes being vulnerable, sometimes confused or often downright cruel.
Based on Zeller‘s Play, Le Père, this Film Adaptation co-written by Christopher Hampton has an innovative way of making us see the world through Anthony‘s eyes. The narrative weaves in and out of truths and distortions, blurring our sense of time as Anthony confuses faces and facts, but in the end giving us a complete picture and history through unravelling the present.
This Film showcases some phenomenal performances including those by its Oscar-winning leads, Colman and Hopkins. Indisputably, the Film belongs to Hopkins who is compelling, commanding our attention whether he is full of fervour fighting to keep his home, dancing with joy or tenderly reminiscing about his other daughter Lucy. He is overbearing, yet we cannot resist. Colman exercises great restraint where Anne is constantly being done-to, her father’s Dementia stripping layer upon layer off her until she is raw and tormented, no longer sure what to do. We feel deeply for her and when we aren’t as one with Anthony, we are bearing all the weight she carries.
THE FATHER bravely confronts head-on an uncomfortable discussion surrounding care for the elderly which many of us have or will face at some point in our lives. It does so remarkably with an acute awareness of the taxing toll that comes with it on both sides of the matter.
THE FATHER screens at TIFF ’20 as follows:
Mon, Sep 14 RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place 9:00pm
Tue, Sep 15 Online at Bell Digital Cinema Streaming in Canada
The complete list of Films to premiere at the 45th Toronto International Film Festival was released earlier today. More than ever, this year’s films are focused on representation and inclusion being a point of focus. We see loud and clear, movies this year about women, black people, indigenous people and people of colour.
Added to the slate are films like Kornél Mundruczó‘s PIECES OF A WOMAN starring The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby as a woman coping with the loss of her baby; Viggo Mortensen‘s directorial debut FALLING, shot here in Toronto, about a gay man dealing with his prejudiced father Emma Seligman‘s SHIVA BABY starring Molly Gordon (Good Boys) about a young woman who runs into her sugar daddy at a funeral with her family; J Blakeson‘s I CARE A LOT is about a legal conservator (Rosamund Pike) who defrauds elderly clients who has a run-in with a gangster;Cathy Brady‘s WILDFIRE starring Anne Heche, centering on a young girl who releases a dark secret in her friendship with a wild horse; Sonia Kennebeck‘s Documentary ENEMIES OF THE STATE which is about a family targeted by the U.S. government when it is learned their son is a hacker; Florian Zeller‘s THE FATHER starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, centering on a man who refuses help from his daughter and his coping with aging; the Horror SHADOW IN THE CLOUD by Roseanne Liang and starring Chloë Grace Moretz, about a WWII pilot travelling with top secret documents, who discovers an evil force; and Regina King‘s ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI where we see Boxer Cassius Clay work together with Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brow to change the course of history in the segregated South. Mira Nair‘s A SUITABLE BOY is set to close the Festival.
These are in addition to some of the centerpiece films announced prior like AMMONITE, NOMADLAND, GOOD JOE BELL, CONCRETE COWBOY, BRUISED and Opening Night Gala DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA.
Canadian representation is also very pronounced with Director Aisling Chin-Yee returning with NO ORDINARY MAN, a Documentary about a transgender Jazz Musician Billy Tipton who for many years was framed as an ambitious woman passing as a man in pursuit of music career. Others include Tracey Deer‘s BEANS, Michelle Latimer‘s two films INCONVENIENT INDIAN and TRICKSTER and both Madeleine Sims-Fewer/Dusty Mancinelli co-directed VIOLATION.
On this year’s lineup, TIFF Co-Head and Artistic Director says, “This year’s lineup reflects that tumult. The names you already know are doing brand new things this year, and there’s a whole crop of exciting new names to discover.”.
Complete line-up below:
180 Degree Rule Farnoosh Samadi | Iran 76 Days Hao Wu, Anonymous, Weixi Chen | USA Ammonite Francis Lee | United Kingdom Another Round (Druk) Thomas Vinterberg | Denmark Bandar Band Manijeh Hekmat | Iran/Germany Beans Tracey Deer | Canada Beginning (Dasatskisi) Dea Kulumbegashvili | Georgia/France The Best is Yet to Come (Bu Zhi Bu Xiu) Wang Jing | China Bruised Halle Berry | USA City Hall Frederick Wiseman | USA Concrete Cowboy Ricky Staub | USA David Byrne’s American Utopia Spike Lee | USA (Opening Night Film) The Disciple Chaitanya Tamhane | India Enemies of the State Sonia Kennebeck | USA Falling Viggo Mortensen | Canada/United Kingdom The Father Florian Zeller | United Kingdom/France Fauna Nicolás Pereda | Mexico/Canada Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer | United Kingdom/USA Gaza mon amour Tarzan Nasser, Arab Nasser | Palestine/France/Germany/Portugal/Qatar Get the Hell Out (Tao Chu Li Fa Yuan) I-Fan Wang | Taiwan Good Joe Bell Reinaldo Marcus Green | USA I Care A Lot J Blakeson | United Kingdom Inconvenient Indian Michelle Latimer | Canada The Inheritance Ephraim Asili | USA Lift Like a Girl (Ash Ya Captain) Mayye Zayed | Egypt/Germany/Denmark Limbo Ben Sharrock | United Kingdom Memory House (Casa de Antiguidades) João Paulo Miranda Maria | Brazil/France MLK/FBI Sam Pollard | USA The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott | Canada New Order (Nuevo orden) Michel Franco | Mexico Night of the Kings (La Nuit des Rois) Philippe Lacôte | Côte d’Ivoire/France/Canada/Senegal Nomadland Chloé Zhao | USA No Ordinary Man Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt | Canada Notturno Gianfranco Rosi | Italy/France/Germany One Night in Miami Regina King | USA Penguin Bloom Glendyn Ivin | Australia Pieces of a Woman Kornél Mundruczó | USA/Canada/Hungary Preparations to Be Together For an Unknown Period of Time (Felkészülés meghatározatlan ideig tartó együttlétre) Lili Horvát | Hungary Quo Vadis, Aïda? Jasmila Žbanić | Bosnia and Herzegovina/Norway/The Netherlands/Austria/Romania/France/Germany/Poland/Turkey Shadow In The Cloud Roseanne Liang | USA/New Zealand Shiva Baby Emma Seligman | USA/Canada Spring Blossom Suzanne Lindon | France A Suitable Boy Mira Nair | United Kingdom/India (Closing Night Presentation) Summer of 85 (Été 85) François Ozon | France The Third Day Felix Barrett, Dennis Kelly | United Kingdom Trickster Michelle Latimer | Canada True Mothers (Asa Ga Kuru) Naomi Kawase | Japan Under the Open Sky (Subarashiki Sekai) Miwa Nishikawa | Japan Violation Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli | Canada Wildfire Cathy Brady | United Kingdom/Ireland
The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10–19, 2020.
More here on Films and their respective Programmes.
This heartbreaking and poignant film follows Anne (Olivia Colman) who attempts to take care of her father Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) who has Dementia.
We’ve seen films about caring for ill parents before, but none anywhere close as good as Florian Zeller’s The Father. His Camerawork and Script don’t just document the memory loss Anthony is experiencing, instead, it propels you into his world. When he doesn’t know where he is and who he is with, the audiences don’t either. This Film has two jaw-dropping performances from Colman and Hopkins. Colman is, as usual, a real force who brings her vulnerability to Anne’s despair. And Hopkins gives a tour-de-force performance that will go down as one of his greatest.
The Father screens at Sundance on Mon, Jan. 27th at 3:30 PM at Eccles Theatre, Wed, Jan. 29th at 2:45 PM at The Ray, Thurs, Jan. 30th at 6:30 PM at Rose Wagner Center, and Sat, Feb. 1st at 8:45 PM at Egyptian Theatre.