Olivia Colman Source

Florian Zeller’s “The Father” is getting the big-screen treatment! Academy Award winners Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins lead the adaptation, which is now out in select theatres and will be available to stream on-demand on March 26th.

 

Here are some reviews…

 

Deadline: “Zeller has employed mind-bending technique and some visual trickery to put us directly into the mind of Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), the ageing father of Anne (Olivia Colman), as he slips ever so slowly deeper into dementia. Unlike most recent dramas on this subject – movies like Still Alice, which won an Oscar for Julianne Moore, and Away From Her with an Oscar-nominated turn from Julie Christie – this film does not go down the more predictable path in showing the devastating effects of seeing this overtake a loved one. Instead, we witness it as Anthony witnesses it, an ever-changing environment that may – or may not – be real, but is apparently reality to this man.”

The Wrap: “As Anthony Hopkins masterfully portrays a man slipping further and further into dementia, the film captures the terrifying sensation of not remembering and not understanding the people and places around us, and the helplessness of having to have your reality explained to you. It is an unsettling film, but it’s also a compassionate one; family members of those suffering from dementia can turn to it for an empathetic portrait of how that disorientation must feel on the inside. It’s one of the most disturbing films in recent memory, but it’s both understanding and unforgettable.”

Associated Press: “Terrifically acted and finely crafted though it is, it’s brilliant”

The Wall Street Journal: “What might have been predictable or sentimental in other hands becomes startling in the film’s approach, as well as beguiling, unsparing, terribly moving and occasionally very funny. Anne, portrayed poignantly by Ms Colman, has her own delusional notions, mainly the possibility that her father will rally and get better.”

USA Today: “Hopkins is astounding when navigating all these various states of mind – from righteous anger to withering spitefulness to a child-like vulnerability – that play out as Anthony loses control of his life. Even though the part isn’t conventionally showy, Hopkins gets to touch every bit of the emotional spectrum and the result is as indelible a role as when Hopkins donned Hannibal’s mask and won an Oscar for ‘The Silence of the Lambs.'”Colman, a couple of years removed from taking best actress for “The Favourite,” is also understatedly superb as a woman dealing with all of this.

Entertainment Weekly: “Though nearly of all this takes place inside apartment walls, Zeller somehow staves off claustrophobia; there’s a warm, painterly quality to the light that pours in, and a graceful pacing to the script (translated and adapted by Atonement screenwriter Christopher Hampton) that allows its growing resonance to creep in, quietly.”

Los Angeles Times: “‘The Father,’ in other words, is both a detective story and a study in confinement, a mystery set within the labyrinthine recesses of a deteriorating mind. The original play (whose English translator, Christopher Hampton, is credited alongside Zeller for the screenplay) availed itself of the natural abstractions of theatrical space, turning the stage into a psychological hall of mirrors. But Zeller, making an elegant and incisive feature debut, finds an ideal equivalent within the more realistic parameters of the movie screen.“The Father” may be a remarkable feat of sustained identification, but beyond the margins of Anthony’s experience — and primarily in the figure of Anne, whom Colman brings to aching, tremulous life — we catch glimpses of other characters and other stories: a terrible accident, a broken marriage, a second chance at love.”

Rolling Stone: “The Father is as much about living with dementia as the afflicted as it is about caring for such a person and, in the process, seeing the slow whittling-away of their senses over time. It’s about what it feels like to see – from outside, from within – an inexplicable rip in the fabric of one man’s reality. Within this complex framework is a whirlwind of feelings anchored by Colman, whose pain is loud despite a performance predicated on quiet, and Hopkins, whose ageing, sharp-witted Anthony proves only too human. ”

The New York Times: “Combining mystery and psychodrama, ‘The Father’ is a majestic depiction of things falling away: People, surroundings and time itself are becoming ever more slippery. As if to enforce order on days that keep eluding him, Anthony clings obsessively to his watch. And there is love in “The Father” — most of it radiating from Colman’s wonderfully warm presence — but there’s no sugarcoating: Compassionate yet unsparing, the movie is more likely to give you nightmares than warm fuzzies.”

Vulture: “As Anne, Colman offers up shattered smiles and extends endless patience while entertaining a dark fantasy of smothering Anthony in his sleep. As Anthony, Hopkins leans into the character’s capacity for cruelty as well as his vulnerability, working himself into a crescendo of outrage or cutting Anne to the quick with accusations of theft or by insisting that her sister — whose absence he laments with the blitheness of someone who has forgotten what happened — was always his favourite. Hopkins, who shows no signs of slowing down at 83, has always been capable of exuding authority and distinction, but as Anthony, he deftly toggles between bluster and vulnerability. Anthony may not have been an especially warm figure in his prime, but Hopkins makes it painfully clear that dementia is stripping him of any dignity. Masterful and agonizing, The Father is a gorgeously crafted film about a doomed arrangement entered into with love, even though it can only end in tragedy.”

TIME  – “Colman follows along in this dance, responding to a man she loves but no longer understands. Anne has a sister who has died, and Anthony hasn’t grasped that his other daughter is gone for good. He sometimes berates the one who remains, stating outright that the other was his favourite. Colman, such a wondrous actor, registers these shifts in the same way the texture and light of the moon seems to change with tiny variances in the atmosphere. She’s both pained and helpless, experiencing feelings that anyone who has spent time around an unpredictable fellow human, particularly an elderly one, can recognize.”

Decider– “Olivia Colman once again proves she is the best of the best. In her role as Anne, the daughter that Hopkins only sometimes recognizes, she conveys her character’s yearning, jealously, and despair in just a single glance—and she does it far better than others could with a 10-minute monologue. She is truly the master.” [1] [2]

Thrillist- “Anne is not the careless next of kin he sometimes envisions her as. Colman, who was nominated for an Oscar in the supporting category. Her work is gutting. She wears the pain of anyone who has had to deal with an elderly loved one on her face, the mix of hurt and resignation flashing in her eyes when he doesn’t recognize her or can’t remember where he is. ”

CINE-VUE – “Hopkins and Colman conjure between them a lifetime of love, regret and unspoken (or perhaps half-forgotten) grievances. Colman, in particular, evokes deep wells of pain in tiny glances and gestures, wincing every time Anthony blithely mentions her favoured but absent younger sister.”

Datebook- “In “The Father,” we see a man slipping out to sea, but we experience this viscerally so that sea seems to be slipping into us. His mind is breaking up like an iceberg, and what’s left are chunks of dreamworld and, occasionally, the face of the less-favoured daughter. As the daughter, Colman is a portrait of guilt, fear, doubt and exhaustion — combined with the residual eagerness of a child who wasn’t loved enough.”

Roger Ebert.com – “His daughter, Anne, Olivia Colman is consistently his equal. She, too, must ride this roller coaster and struggle to put on a British, stiff upper lip within a situation that’s steadily crumbling. She’ll manage a smile as tears well in her eyes or flinch ever so slightly yet maintain her patience when her father says something rude and insulting. As our guide—as much as Zeller will allow us one—Colman is tremendous as always.”

Variety– “All the actors in “The Father” are vivid, Colman brings her role a loving vulnerability that warms you…”

Film Threat– “Olivia Colman’s always been fabulous, but since the early days of Peep Show, Colman has matured into one of our best leading actresses, and her rise to stardom has been incredible to watch. So radiant as the Queen in Yorgos Nathimos’ The Favourite, here she wisely allows Hopkins to take centre stage, but more than holds her own in scenes so achingly real, I defy your tears to stay in those ducts.”

Guardian– “It’s Hopkins’ show but Colman gets some impactful moments along the way and the film is generous enough to understand that it’s an unbearably frustrating process for those around someone with the condition as well. As one might expect, The Father is a hopeless tale, with Zeller taking us down further as the condition worsens with the knowledge that things won’t be getting any better, that he won’t be getting out. It’s an experience many people will understandably want to avoid, existing just too close to home for a lot of us, easily swapping out Hopkins and inserting a family member in his place. But for those who can stomach it, it’ll stay with you, for longer than you might like.”

Screenrant– “While the audience is swept away into the maze of Anthony’s mind, the more grounded moments in The Father stem from Colman’s Anne, who is patient, loving, and fraying at the edges, caught between maintaining her strength and crying as she watches her father deteriorate. Colman, as always, is exceptional. While the film isn’t focused on her as much as Anthony, her emotions are equally on display.”

The Film Stage– “Similar praise goes to Colman too, what with her strong work in internalizing her emotions. The two performances show themselves as increasingly complementary as well, what with Hopkins’s confusion and Colman’s shifts between what may or may not be illusions of Anthony’s mind. It largely comes back to Zeller and Christopher Hampton’s script, which flirts with a medley of points of view without clarifying itself until the end.”

Rogers Movie Nation– “Colman gives us glimpses of the heartache and guilt a child feels over being unable to do more for a parent that has become more than a mere relative can handle…And Hopkins, Colman, Williams, Sewell and Poots give us an eyeful and earful of a fate awaiting far too many of us in this quietly gripping and intimate drama.”

The Playlist– “Colman can imply more with a slight tilt of the head or partial smile than 99% of her peers. Colman’s work here may be yet another example of how she has hit a career-best stride. The pain Hopkins and Colman carry in their characters can do wonders, however”

The Stranger “Colman and especially Hopkins are giving what may be the performances of their careers. Colman projects a lifetime of trauma, hope, and frustration all within her eyes, while Hopkins is simultaneously fragile, boisterous, and terrified as a man trapped in shifting realities.”

Original Cin– “For those who tremble in the presence of outstanding performances, The Father will hit like an earthquake. Hopkins and Colman are unspeakably good in their roles. Hopkins is too recognizable to forget who he is, and Colman has reached a level of unavoidable familiarity…The Father is one of the few genuinely deserving titles in this year’s Oscar run, earning its recent nominations for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, a Best Actor nod for Hopkins, and Best Supporting for Colman. ”

Looper- “Colman is no less impressive in her work. Scenes call for her to not only reinforce the love she has for her father, but also the frustration that punctuates her every conversation with him. She patiently states the same facts to him time and again, indulging his suspicions and assuaging his fears, all the while giving brief glimpses into her (possible? probable?) desire to break free and move to Paris with a new boyfriend, even capturing herself at one point fantasizing about finishing his life with her own hands.”

Boston Globe- “Colman gives Anne layers of sadness, frustration, and forbearance.”

FlixChatter Film Blog-  “I’ve always been a longtime fan of Olivia Colman who seems really kind and good-natured in person. This compassionate, empathetic character seems to be made for her as Anne’s patience with her ailing father seems limitless. Even when her dad is often crass and unfeeling towards her by constantly bringing up his favourite daughter Lucy. Anne’s mental anguish is palpable and that brutal honesty is so moving. It’s a deeply emotional and nuanced performance that feels true without resorting to over-sentimentality.”

Phoenix Film Festival- “Both Colman and Hopkins deliver Oscar-worthy performances. She’s a deeply caring, thoughtful daughter who doesn’t lash out at her dad, but she’s under constant duress by internalizing his disarray while simultaneously struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy.  Hopkins drives the narrative, and Colman follows his lead, as Anthony involuntarily reverse-calibrates his and Anne’s lives in micro-increments that deliver immediate grief, but also a profound sense of loss of a once-dependable and harmonious relationship.  A heartbreaking and permanent loss.”

The Movie Cricket- “Hopkins is electric here, playing off the always-brilliant Colman and his other solid castmates to create a tragic and indelible portrait of a man desperately clinging to some shred of his identity.”

Spiritually Practice- “Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman each give Academy-Award calibre performances but what really makes The Father shine is its admirable blend of sunshine and shadows.”

Culture Mix- “Viewers are taken on a harrowing ride that feels like an endless loop of uncertainty and confusion, anchored by outstanding performances from Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman… Colman convincingly expresses the heartbreak of who someone who feels helpless to stop a loved one’s inevitable decline.”

What’s Up Newp- “What’s most remarkable about The Father is how compellingly it manages to convey Anne’s experience without compromising its conceit. The film’s chronology, which seemingly belongs to Anthony, is just as resonant for Colman’s character; in each interaction, she cannot know whether her father will be warm, cruel, or unable to recognize her, and without shared memory to carry those moments forward, does when they happen even matter anymore? This dual-functionality speaks to the quality of the screenplay, as well as Zeller’s direction – in a year with a few high-profile theatrical adaptations, The Father is arguably the most cinematic-feeling of them all.”

The Harvard Crimson– Actors do the switch in and out for certain characters, but for the most part, Olivia Colman remains in the film as Anne. Colman is tasked with portraying the myriad of conflicting emotions felt by someone whose loved one suffers from dementia. She is resistant to the idea of putting him in a nursing home, even though caring for him herself is an enormous undertaking. Especially in her character’s private moments, Colman lets the immense grief she feels rise to the surface, quiet tears and trembling hands reflecting her interiority. Most of all though, Colman’s portrayal of Anne is a touching testament to unconditional love — even when Anthony lashes out at her, her unbowing loyalty to him is palpable. Subtle gestures, like the way she smiles when he compliments her hair, or the way she reaches out to hold his hand after a doctor’s appointment, are enough to reveal how much she cares for her father.

Financial Review– “The versatile Colman puts in an excellent performance as the daughter caught between love for her father, a sense of filial duty, and sheer exasperation”

This Is Film- “Colman similarly follows suit, shading her performance with light and darkness that expresses how much she loves a man that she no longer understands. Williams, Sewell, Gatiss, and the so-far unmentioned Imogen Poots, whose turn as Anthony’s new in-home carer leads to some of the film’s most agonising material, are all equally stellar, but The Father‘s heart is between Hopkins and Colman, with the two navigating this traumatic exquisiteness to fruition, resulting in a film that’s practically a relief on the senses once it has culminated.”

 

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