Sunday Movie Review – The Father – Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Coleman – #Dementia

The Sunday Movie Review – this movie caught me right out of left field. When I saw that The Father was released on Netflix starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman (The Crown), I couldn’t wait to watch it. I’ll also add that I had to put on my big girl pants to watch this heart grabbing story, but felt compelled to watch it, accompanied by a box of tissues.

 

A masterful performance by Anthony Hopkins in a heartwrenching role of The Father of Anne, played by Olivia Coleman.

 

My 5 Star Review:

 

This powerful story takes place in London where Anne has already taken in her father after realizing he shouldn’t be living on his own any longer, despite his stubborness. But Anthony (real name and movie name) still comes across as witty and intelligent – until he drifts into a lost person.

 

This is a heartbreaking character study movie, so don’t be looking for big plots and action. The premise is real and frightening and Hopkins gives the performance of his lifetime portraying a father with dementia. We get an internal look as we stand outside this box of grief and fear. The grief is what we feel from what we witness as this man continues to go back and forth from reality to his lost world of dementia and the grief we feel for his daughter Anne who remains compassionate, despite her moments of wanting to throw up her hands.

 

We take in the moments where Anthony’s fits of anger strike because his confusion annoys even himself. His verbal distaste for going into a home when suggested by Anne so she can take her opportunity to move to Paris, will have you, tugging at your own heartstrings.

 

The movie contains mostly dialogue and will have us the viewers just as confused as Anthony at some points as he trys to decipher the reality from his own dementia. The ending will rip what’s left of your heart out with Anthony’s vulnerability.

 

This movie portrays the brutal and raw realism of dementia, how one lives within himself with it and how those who are the caregivers live a living grief.

 

 

Most heartwrenching quote by Hopkins as he questions his own sanity:

“I feel as though I’m losing all my leaves.”

 

 

From IMDB :

Storyline

Having just scared off his recent caregiver, Anthony, an ailing, octogenarian Londoner gradually succumbing to dementia, feels abandoned when concerned Anne, his daughter, tells him she’s moving to Paris. Confused and upset, against the backdrop of a warped perspective and his rapid, heart-rending mental decline, Anthony is starting to lose his grip on reality, struggling to navigate the opaque landscape of present and past. Now, as faded memories and glimpses of lucidity trigger sudden mood swings, dear ones, Anthony’s surroundings, and even time itself become distorted. Why has his younger daughter stopped visiting? Who are the strangers that burst in on Anthony?Nick Riganas

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A fantastic half hour interview with Sir Anthony Hopkins on the making of this film, how he felt in the role and how he prepared for it. Note: He played a man his own age of 84.
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Has anyone here seen the movie? Thoughts?
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©DGKaye2021

 

56 thoughts on “Sunday Movie Review – The Father – Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Coleman – #Dementia

      1. I have only seen trailers, but it certainly has had good reviews. The only consolation for being widowed too soon is that life was normal till nearly the end and the long path of losing the person you loved to dementia is one thing I will never have to face. I just hope I stay like my mother, frail at the end, but her mind sharp at 95! Dementia is awful for partners or children.

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  1. Gracias Debs, Thank you! I’m half-Welsh and appreciate Anthony Hopkins voice, his acting and his modesty! I watched the interview and look forward to seeing the film. Hugs xx

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  2. Hi Debby – it’s a superb movie – I went without having taken on board the storyline – so was muddled at the beginning – then I realised what was happening … and I will definitely see it again. It is outstanding – I thoroughly recommend it … some friends also went to see it – when the husband also commented it was a staggering film.

    So love your reviews … perfect on the film – and the two actors are outstanding … it is heart-rending … thanks for this – all the best – Hilary

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    1. Thanks for reiterating what I wrote here Hilary. It is a difficult subject, but the performances by these actors was riveting. Thanks for sharing your take on this movie. Hugs xx

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  3. This will be a very sad movie, Debby, I can see that. This is exactly what I wrote about in my poem this week. I won’t be watching it, but I am glad to know about it.

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  4. We have on our TBW list for movies.. still a little hesitant having been through the experience but with two amazing actors such as Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman it will be watched at some point.. thanks for the terrific review..♥♥

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    1. Thank you Sal. I know this one hits home for many. But the fact is, it does happen to many, and often we don’t get to see the caregiver’s side of worry. I know exactly what you mean, but a must watch, and I’m sure you will see it in good time. ❤ xx

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  5. I don’t watch many movies, but this sounds like one I’d like to see. I lived this life with my mom (my dad passed a decade before my mom), and I was the only one of her four sons living near her. The problem (one faced by many) is Mom slowly lost the ability to care for herself but didn’t want to move or have anyone else move in to help with her care. I’ve never blogged much about this before (My mom lived a happy and full life), but it may be time. One of the key points I would make is that society has not caught up to the idea of how big a problem this potentially can be as people live longer lives. The cost of assisted living care is an ENORMOUS thing to consider as many can’t afford what their loved ones need.

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    1. Pete, you hit the nail on the head. There is so much involved, not to mention the price tag for proper homecare when needed. Definitely a topic that can’t be talked about enough. 🙂

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  6. This sounds like an amazing movie, Debby. Dementia has hit more than one relative and its so heartbreaking to watch and scary to think about getting.

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  7. Thanks for sharing, Debby. Anthony Hopkins is an incredibly talented actor! This sounds like a sad and heart-wrenching movie. I’m not sure I’m ready for that kind of emotion so close to the holiday but will keep it in mind.

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  8. Hi Debby,
    I have seen this movie and will watch it again. It perfectly captured the journey of dementia for himself and his daughter. I felt confused at parts, but realized this was done to put yourself in his shoes and experience his confusion. The ending did surprise me and left me sad, as the disease has done to so many. Thanks for sharing this movie review. I highly recommend it to anyone who has not seen it. The actors were top notch!
    Many Blessings,
    Lisa xoxo

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    1. Hi Lisa. Thanks for sharing your opinion of the movie – which, unsurprisingly, what I thought. Yes, I agree, those confusing moments were confusing to me too, but as you said, used to depict Anthony’s own confusion. Amazing acting! Hugs xx

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  9. Debby, this is a movie that I need to watch as I am cuurently writing a novel where the main character suffers from Alzheimer’s. For some reason, I still don’t have it on my Netflix here. Hopefully, it will come shortly. Thanks for posting this, Debby.

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    1. I’m so glad you found my review helpful Carol, this movie would certainly portray some information for you by character study. I wrote this review over a month ago. It’s quite possible they took it off Netflix, but I just checked it’s now on Prime! Hugs ❤

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  10. This sounds so intense, Debby. I’m going to have to watch it on a day when I’m feeling whole and balanced. My father told me today that he can’t remember his grandparents’ names. But it’s my mom whose memory is sliding away fast. It’s so terribly sad. I’m glad this movie gives it such a real, compassionate, and heartbreaking portrayal. Thanks for sharing your review.

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    1. Indeed Diana. A tough watch for many who can relate, but this movie gives us a bird’s eye view of this disease brilliantly portrayed by Hopkins. You’ll see it when you’re up to the challenge. ❤

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  11. Thanks for your wonderful review, Debby. I’ve seen previews and want to see this movie, but I’m not sure when that will be. I’m feeling emotional lately, so I may wait until next year. Anthony Hopkins is a favorite and the video alone was powerful. I’m thankful our parents didn’t have dementia and only hope that my husband and I are so lucky. My brother-in-law had it though and it was heartwrenching watching him go through it, but also watching my sister deal with it. So sad. xo

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    1. Thanks for sharing some of yourself here Lauren. Sadly, this disease has touched so many of our lives. Perhaps that’s what the film makers wanted to make a statement, a difficult watch, yet captivating. And a bird’s eye view of how the caregiver deals. ❤

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  12. A wonderful review, Deb. Just as you, I was excited to watch this film. It really caught me off guard as well. It was very intricate story telling. It rarely wavered from Anthony’s viewpoint and it was like we were inside his head the whole time. That is what became so scary as we truly felt his confusion as if it were our own. Masterful acting on all counts too. But indeed, a heartbreaking tear jerker. Not light by any means. So nice to hear your thoughts on this film, Deb. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Lis. I’m glad to hear your thoughts on the movie, we felt the same things. I can understand how it’s a difficult watch for some, and a relatable watch for some others. Me, I’m drawn to emotional movies. I’m an observer and enjoy a good character study movie. Probably has something to do with why I prefer to write nonfiction. 🙂 xx

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      1. Yes, I’m similar in tastes, Deb. Of course sometimes my mood calls for lighter fare. In fact, “Head Full of Honey” also deals with dementia (starring Nick Nolte and his granddaughter) which is a bit lighter but still hits on the issues quite well.

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  13. This will be the next movie I watch on Netflix. Thanks for the recommendation and review, as always, Debby. I will have to wait for the right (mental) time to face this storyline, though. I have a little bit of experience with dementia from my dear oma. It’s not pretty. And, based on your review, I’ll have the tissues ready. Like I said, I’ll wait for a “strong” evening of being rated and not too emotional to watch Father.

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    1. I totally get that Liesbet, you have to be in the right frame of mind. And btw, I just saw that it’s not on Netflix now, ( I wrote the post a month ago), but it is on Prime now. Hugs xx

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  14. I watched it at the cinema when it came out here (before all hell broke loose), and I totally agree. Everybody does a great job of it, and their choice of telling the story from the father’s point of view works wonderfully to give us a taste of how confusing it must feel. It is such a cruel illness, both of the sufferers and for the family. I remember reading about it, and it is based on a play. That must be terribly tough for the actors, but I would love to watch it as well. Thanks, Debby. Another great review.

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    1. Thanks Olga. I’m like you, as painful as the movie can be, I still have to watch it. I love Hopkins movies (except Silence of the Lambs, lol), and character study movies. I’m not surprised you’ve seen it. 🙂 Hugs xx

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  15. Anthony Hopkins IS a great actor. So much so that I can readily imagine this being a painfully scary image of things that MIGHT come that we want to avoid by all means we can. Not sure I really want to watch it. 😉

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    1. You are in the majority John. Me, I’m an observer of life and emotions and watched all Hopkins movies – even Silence of the Lambs, which freaked me out as every horror movie does, so I don’t read or watch. But I think more who watch will be ones who find it relatable.

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