The Father

The Father ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I keep wondering if the formal conceit here (you have dementia! what would you do if this happened to you?) is an act of empathy or reprehensible bad taste, but on the whole it seemed more interesting and insightful than most filmed treatments of the subject that I've seen. Anthony Hopkins is fine -- I don't think a role like this really plays to any actor's strengths, but that's always been a controversial take and the Academy has spent ninety years disagreeing -- and Olivia Colman is inevitably terrific, hers being by far the trickier part.

I try never to give vent to my pedantic "uhhh, plot hole!" side because I think those people miss the point of 95% of movies but the drifts away from Anthony's perspective, meaning the scenes he isn't in, really annoy me in retrospect given how much the body of the film is clearly meant to be a confused jumble of fragmented memories. I don't think it's a technical mistake, but it is irritating and showcases how impossible it is to actually craft a narrative experiment of any serious depth that actually plays in the mainstream without a lot of hand-holding.