LuxFilmLab: The Father

Florian Zeller

United Kingdom, France, 2020 / 97 min / English OV with French & Dutch subt. / Drama

LuxFilmLab – 7th April 2021

As he ages, a man refuses all assistance from his daughter and begins to doubt the fabric of reality.

It is an inescapable fact of life that for every relationship between a parent and a child, there is a moment in time where the child becomes the carer, and the parent a dependent. This is at the core of The Father. In this beautifully wrought family drama, a man refuses all assistance from his daughter 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. Despite such apparently dark subject matter, The Father is built on a foundation of human empathy, with moments of laughter and even a sense of joy. It celebrates the unbreakable bond between parent and child as they are locked together on a journey into the unknown.

“A beautifully wrought family drama that brings together Academy Award winners Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman in a heart-rending account of what happens when a relationship which has coloured our every waking moment for decades suddenly and irrevocably changes. 

In The Father we experience the world through the prism of the character Anthony’s confusion, as his dementia set in motion a gradual decline effecting every part of his reality. But this is not just a film about dementia, and he is more than an unreliable narrator. He is at the centre of a struggle which gives The Father elements of both thriller and horror.” Director’s statement by Florian Zeller

Wed 07/04 19:30 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR & NL subt. Public
Wed 07/04 19:45 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR & NL subt. Public
Wed 07/04 20:00 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR & NL subt. Public

“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. Mr. Hopkins is the master of it all.” Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, 25/02/2021

“Over the course of 97 increasingly grim minutes, Zeller's puzzle-box drama distills the abstract concept of senility into an ontological experience that denies your sympathy at almost every turn.” David Ehrlich, IndieWire, 29/01/2020

“It’s a difficult, often quite brutal, viewing experience, as it needs to be given the subject matter, not only because of the fractured storytelling but because of the devastating lead performance from Hopkins, experiencing something of a career resurgence with an Oscar nomination this year for The Two Popes. He’s now comfortably an early front-runner for the 2021 race with a turn so crushingly effective that I can’t see how any other actor could beat him.” Benjamin Lee, The Guardian, 28/01/2020

The Father takes a bracingly insightful, subtle and nuanced look at encroaching dementia and the toll it takes on those in close proximity to the afflicted. Fronted by a stupendous performance from Anthony Hopkins as a proud Englishman in denial of his condition, this penetrating work marks an outstanding directorial debut by the play’s French author Florian Zelle” Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter, 27/01/2020

  • Audience Award, San Sebastián International Film Festival, 2020 (Spain)
  • Best European Film, Goya Awards, 2021 (Spain)
  • Best Actor – Anthony Hopkins, British Independent Film Awards, 2021 (United Kingdom)
  • Best Supporting Actress – Olivia Colman, AACTA International Awards, 2021 (Australia)
  • Best Actor – Anthony Hopkins, AARP Movies for Grownups Awards, 2021 (USA)
  • Best Screenplay, British Independent Film Awards, 2021 (United Kingdom)
  • Best Editing, British Independent Film Awards, 2021 (United Kingdom)
  • Best First Film, Hawaii Film Critics Society, 2021
  • Best Actor – Anthony Hopkins, Nevada Film Critics Society, 2021 (USA)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay, Nevada Film Critics Society, 2021 (USA)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards, 2021 (USA)
  • Best Screenplay, Adapted, Satellite Awards, 2021 (USA)
  • Best New Filmmaker, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards, 2020 (USA)
  • Best Actor – Anthony Hopkins, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards, 2020 (USA)
  • Capri Actor Award, Capri Hollywood, 2020 (Italy)
  • Best Actor – Anthony Hopkins, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards, 2020 (USA)
  • Best Editing, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, 2020 (USA)
  • Audience Award, Mill Valley Film Festival, 2020 (USA)
  • Best Screenplay, Sunset Film Circle Awards, 2020 (USA)
Cast & Credits
Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams
Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller, based on the play “The Father” by Florian Zeller
Ben Smithard
Sandy Notarianni
Peter Francis
Ludovico Einaudi
Trademark Films, Ciné-@, F Comme Film, Film4, Viewfinder

Florian Zeller is an award-winning French novelist, playwright and director. He is, according to the Times of London, “the most exciting playwright of our time”. He has written more than 10 plays, including The Father, The Mother, The Truth, The Lie, The Height of the Storm and most recently The Son, which premiered in Paris in 2018 and in London in 2019. His plays have been staged in more than 45 countries. The Father, is one of the outstanding hits of recent years and was described as “the most acclaimed new play of the last decade” by the Guardian, and has won several awards in Paris, London and New York. The Father (2020) is Zeller’s first feature film as a director and an adaptation of his eponymous play.

  • 2020 – The Father
  • 2010 – Empreintes (1 episode of the TV series)
  • 2008 – Nos dernières frivolités (short)