There are few more utterly heartbreaking portrait pieces this year than director Florian Zeller’s The Father.
It explores in excruciating detail the pain that comes to an ailing father with Alzheimer’s and the daughter fighting to keep him safe and comfortable. The two clash endlessly, as what’s best for him and what he wants can be very different things.
Perhaps most difficult is that Hopkins’ character, aptly named Anthony, sometimes has no real idea how far his memory and sanity are slipping. He’s forgetful and sometimes violent as he struggles to understand what’s going on around him.
Enter Anne, his middle-aged daughter who is attempting to find care for her father, both for his own protection and her sanity. Olivia Colman is graceful and brilliant as his daughter.
The two endlessly spar, and watching these two masterclasses at work is worth admission alone. With six Oscar nominations, powerhouse performances and a top-notch script, it’s a truly incredible achievement.
The Father is a difficult, emotional film, but it’s also one of the most resonant flicks of the year, and a surefire favourite of mine for 2020.