The Father Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

“Father” / The Father

Drama genre
Directed by Florian Zeller
Cast: Anthony Hopkins (Anthony), Olivia Colman (Anne), Olivia Williams (Catherine/Anne), Rufus Sewell (Paul), Mark Gatiss (Bill/Paul), Imogen Poots (Laura/Lucy) and others.
Studios Les Films du Cru, Film4, Orange Studio
Year of issue 2020 (in Ukraine 2021)
Site IMDb

Anthony Hopkins plays a man who, in his old age, wants the simple calmness of his own apartment, but his daughter Ann (played by actress Olivia Colman) constantly breaks the usual order of things. She asks strange questions, hires a nurse, reminds her about pills and reproaches her father for unbearable behavior. It seems to the hero that they want to deceive him – strangers appear in the house, things constantly disappear in the rooms, and they try to confuse him, imposing crazy thoughts.

Anthony Hopkins’ character puts on headphones to listen to an aria from an opera by Georges Bizet. The beautifully dreary melody sounds so tense that it fills all the apartments, where every object becomes strange and, over time, less understandable.

The details of the London apartment in which the hero lives play an important role in the film. The camera repeatedly shows the interior of rooms and corridors from the same angles, freezing for a while so that we can get used to it, and then notice the differences. A cozy office, a tastefully furnished living room, a prominent library and a kitchen, followed by a room with a dining table – everything seems the same. Suddenly, at some barely perceptible moment, minor changes appear: in the same kitchen there is a different set, there is not enough painting on the wall, the curtains look different.


According to director Florian Zeller, it was extremely important for him to create a sense of disorientation, not only in plot but also visually. Indeed, starting to watch, the viewer loses his bearings, feeling everything from the inside, just like Hopkins’ hero – the old man is annoyed and completely confused by how he sees the chronology of the events of his life. But as soon as what is happening becomes clearer and clearer, we, realizing the true reality, move away from the character, who is left alone with his confusion.

As you know, the film received another statuette “Oscar” – a prize for the best adapted screenplay. Father was originally a French play (Le Père) which was translated into English and staged in Britain, where it received rave reviews from critics. The production was popular, it was shown all over the world and was awarded theatrical awards.

Filmmakers don’t often come up with worthy adaptations of theatrical dramaturgy, sometimes for feature films there is not enough action or the necessary dramatic accents, which are replaced by an abundance of cinematic scenery or, even worse, the addition of special effects. With “Father” everything is just completely different, perhaps due to the fact that the author of the play personally directed the picture. This is Florian Zeller’s feature film debut, so his theatrical eye for detail helped create a realistic setting (with pleasing and very aesthetic camerawork) that didn’t lose important emotions.


Interestingly, long before the film adaptation, when Florian Zeller was in the process of writing the play, he imagined Anthony Hopkins as the main character. Years later, Zeller sent the script to the actor and, fortunately, he agreed to shoot.

Hopkins’ performance is so poignant that it resonates with the association with loved ones. In “Father” every movement of the hero, denial and glimpse of his charm will seem very familiar – in the actor’s character, many will recognize a parent who, with age, becomes more and more helpless, absent-minded and stubborn. That’s why the movie will inevitably break your heart, but that doesn’t mean it should be avoided.

Perhaps the “Father” will become the embodiment of fears that you don’t want to think about, but which one day you will have to accept in order to firmly remember what so often slips away in everyday life. Patience and love, which are manifested in insignificant trifles.

After the Oscar ceremony, articles appeared in the Western press that Sir Anthony’s victory was “a shocking defeat for Chadwick Boseman”, but such statements are completely unfair. Hopkins helped to tell and feel a story that will resonate in the hearts of people around the world. And the actor did it with all his heart, deserving the award.

Pros: great performance by Anthony Hopkins; Olivia Colman, who also played an important role; the emotional component of the film; pleasant operator work; the viewer is given time to consider the details of the apartment Cons: none Conclusion:

a film with two absolutely deserved awards “Oscar”, which is definitely worth a look.

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