Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Drama directed and co-written and by Florian Zeller, based on his own play “Le Père”. The Father (2021) centers on 80 year-old Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), who refuses all assistance from his daughter, Anne (Olivia Colman), as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.
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Our Favorite Quote:'I feel as if I'm losing all my leaves. The branches, and the wind, and the rain. I don't know what's happening anymore.' - Anthony (The Father) Click To Tweet
Anthony: What’s the matter?
Anne: I don’t know what to do. We have to talk, dad.
Anthony: That’s what we’re doing, isn’t it?
Anne: No, I mean, seriously.
Anthony: Why do you look at me as if something’s wrong? Everything is fine, Anne. The world is turning. You’ve always been that way. A worrier. Whereas your sister… Where is she, by the way? Have you heard from her?
Anne: I’m going to have to move, dad. I’m going to have to leave London.
Anthony: Really? Why?
Anne: We talked about this. Do you remember?
Anthony: Ah. Is that why you’re so keen on this nurse living with me? Obviously, it is. The rats are leaving the ship.
Anthony: [after Anne’s told him she’s moving to Paris] You in Paris? You’re not going to do that, are you? I mean, wake up. They don’t even speak English.
Anthony: So, if I understand correctly, you’re leaving me. Is that it? You’re abandoning me.
Anthony: What’s going to become of me?
Anne: But I can’t leave you here on your own. It’s not possible. That’s why, if you refuse to have a carer, I’m going to have to…
Anthony: To what? To what?
Anne: You have to understand, dad.
Anthony: Anne, you’re going to have to what?
Anthony: [sees Anne’s husband as a different person] Who are you? What are you doing here? What are you doing in my flat?
The Man: Anthony, it’s me, Paul.
Anthony: Who? What are you doing here?
The Man: I live here.
Anthony: Do you know Anne? Are you a friend of hers? I’m speaking to you! Do you know Anne?
The Man: I’m her husband.
Anthony: Her husband?
The Man: Yes.
Anthony: Since when?
The Man: Coming up for ten years.
The Man: [after Anthony’s told him about Anne moving to Paris] What was she going to do in Paris?
Anthony: Well, she met a Frenchman.
The Man: I don’t think so, Anthony.
Anthony: Yes, she did. She told me the other day. I’m not an idiot. She told me she was moving to go and live with him. And I even remember telling her it was a stupid idea, because, you know, they don’t even speak English.
Anthony: So you don’t know about the Frenchman?
The Man: No.
Anthony: Oops-a-daisy. Oh! Never mind. Chin up! They all end up leaving sooner or later. I speak from experience.
Anthony: [to Paul] Take a good look at me. I can still manage on my own. Don’t you think?
The Man: I think she tries to do the best she can for you, Anthony.
Anthony: Oh, the best she can. The best she can, yeah. I never asked her for anything. I don’t know what she’s cooking up against me, but she’s cooking something up. She’s cooking something up, that I do know.
Anthony: But let me be absolutely clear. I am not leaving my flat! I am not leaving my flat!
The Man: This isn’t your flat, Anthony.
The Man: If you remember, you moved here.
Anthony: So you’re telling me this is your place?
The Man: Yes.
Anthony: Ah, now I’ve heard everything.
[the apartment door opens and a woman enters]
The Woman: It’s me!
Anthony: Ah, there she is.
The Woman: What’s happening?
Anthony: Oh, nothing much. Your father seemed a bit confused.
The Woman: Is something wrong?
Anthony: What is this nonsense?
The Woman: What are you talking about?
Anthony: Where’s Anne?
The Woman: Sorry?
Anthony: Anne. Where is she?
The Woman: I’m here.
The Woman: [after Anthony’s told her about seeing her husband] What husband?
Anthony: Well, yours, my dear. Not mine.
The Woman: James?
Anthony: Your husband.
The Woman: I’m not married, dad.
Anthony: I’m sorry?
The Woman: I got divorced more than five years ago. You remember.
Anthony: Well, he was here just now.
The Woman: I think you’re mistaken, dad. There’s no one here.
Anthony: He’s vanished.
The Woman: Who? The man with the chicken?
Anthony: Your husband!
The Woman: What’s the matter, dad?
Anthony: There’s something funny going on. Believe me, Anne, there is something funny going on.
The Woman: Now, don’t worry. Everything will sort itself out. Hmm?
Anthony: I don’t know.
The Woman: Yes, it will. Don’t worry.
Anthony: You know, It’s been going on for some time. Strange things going on around us. Haven’t you noticed? There was this man claiming this was not my flat. A really unsympathetic looking man. A bit like your husband, only worse. It’s the best yet, don’t you think? In my flat. He told me. But, this is my flat. Isn’t it, hmm? Anne? Isn’t it? Tell me, Anne, this really is my flat. Isn’t it?
Anne: [referring to Anthony] You can’t imagine how difficult it is sometimes. The other day, he didn’t even recognize me.
Anthony: [after meeting Laura] I say, you’re gorgeous.
Laura: Thank you.
Anthony: But I, haven’t we met before?
Laura: No, I don’t think so.
Anthony: Are you sure? I have a distinct impression that I’ve seen you before.
Anthony: [to Laura] My daughter has a tendency to repeat herself. But you know what it’s like, it’s an age thing.
Laura: [referring to Anthony] I must say, he’s charming.
Anne: Yeah. Not always.
Laura: Oh, you have two daughters?
Anthony: Yes. Even though I hardly ever hear from the other one. All the same, she was always my favorite. She was a painter. Look, there you are. The Pirouette. Beautiful, isn’t it?
Laura: Yes, it is.
Anthony: Yes. A dazzling girl. I don’t understand why she never gets in touch. Never.
Laura: My job is to help people who need help.
Anthony: [to Anne] Oh. Sounds like those girls you’re always trying to dump off on me, dear.
Anthony: I know who she reminds me of.
Anthony: It’s Lucy. Lucy, when she was younger.
Anthony: Yeah, my other daughter. That’s right. There is a resemblance, don’t you think?
Anthony: You see, the situation is very simple. I have lived in this flat for some time now. I’m extremely attached to it. And I bought it more than thirty years ago. Can you imagine? You weren’t even born. Yes, it’s a big flat. Very nice. It’s very big. And I’ve been very happy here. Anyway, my daughter is very interested in it.
Anne: What are you talking about?
Anthony: You see, my daughter is of the opinion that I cannot manage on my own. So she’s moved in with me, ostensibly to help me, with this man she met, not long ago, just after her divorce. Yeah. Who has a very bad influence on her, I have to tell you.
Anne: What are you talking about, dad?