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REVIEW ROUNDUP: THE FATHER, Starring Anthony Hopkins & Olivia Colman

Florian Zeller directs the film adaptation of his 2012 French play.

REVIEW ROUNDUP: THE FATHER, Starring Anthony Hopkins & Olivia Colman

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 theaters and will be available to stream on demand March 26th.

The 2012 play, written and directed by Zeller, had its premiere in Paris, winning a Moliere Award for best play. It then came to Broadway and London's West End, where it won both Tony and Olivier awards for best actor (Frank Langella on Broadway, and Kenneth Cranham in the West End).

The critics have spoken...


Alonso Duralde, 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."

Jake Coyle, Associated Press: "Terrifically acted and finely crafted though it is, it's a brilliant but hollow exercise in perspective that calls more attention to its artful orchestration than it does life or loss."

Joe Morgenstern, 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."

Peter Hammond, Deadline: "Zeller has employed mind bending technique and some visual trickery to put us directly into the mind of Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), the aging 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."

Brian Truitt, 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.'"

Leah Greenblatt, 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."

Dana Stevens, Slate: "But in a remarkable feat of directorial sleight of hand, Zeller uses the medium of film to tell Anthony's story in a way only film can-by evoking through a mix of editing, camera placement, and production and sound design the temporally and spatially collapsed world its protagonist is experiencing."

Justin Chang, 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."

K. Austin Collins, 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."

Anthony Lane, The New Yorker: "At this stage, we are braced for a harsh and realistic portrait of a failing mind, and of the loved ones who get hurt along the way. To an extent, 'The Father' fulfills that brief. But something else emerges here: a mystery, all the more disconcerting for being so matter-of-fact."

Jeannette Catsoulis, 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."

Alison Wilmore, Vulture: "The Father is assembled like a puzzle box, its chronology curling in on itself in cunning ways. Certain details - a chicken dinner, a divorce, the arrival of a new home aide named Laura (Imogen Poots), a conversation about nursing homes, Paris - keep returning, making it unclear if we're in the past or present. The constant is heartbreak: As the film moves along, it starts dipping more and more into Anne's point of view, and it becomes evident that she's being swallowed whole by her efforts to care for her aging parent."


Watch the trailer for "The Father" here:


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