Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

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Parents' Guide to

The Father

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Alzheimer's drama has strong language and adult themes.

Movie PG-13 2021 97 minutes
The Father Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Love and Dementia

It is well acted, very believable chacters. Too emotional for a young child. They wouldn't understand all the misconceptions of the father. Parents should watch it 1st before letting a child watch it.

This title has:

Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

Think about it.

Anthony (Academy Award Winner, Anthony Hopkins) is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the carers that his daughter, Anne (Academy Award and Golden Globe Winner, Olivia Colman), encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can't make daily visits anymore and Anthony's grip on reality is unraveling. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her? THE FATHER warmly embraces real life, through loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition; heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant -- a movie that nestles in the truth of our own lives.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Oscar-winner Hopkins gives one of the finest performances of his career as a man slowly losing his grip on reality and experiencing the full cycle of emotions that come with that. In some scenes in The Father, he's the vivid, charming, cultured man of a not-so-distant past. But in others, he's angry and defiant, then in a moment scared and childlike in his need to be soothed. Fellow Academy Award-winner Colman beautifully portrays the pain and frustration of managing the situation, in which help is constantly refused and her motives often questioned. She herself fluctuates between pandering, correcting, and losing control of her own anger.

The genius of the film really lies in its structure and casting. In his debut feature as director, Florian Zeller adapts his own stage play for the screen, making clever choices that leave the audience as disorientated as Anthony's character. One of those is having different actors play the same role, so that when Anthony doesn't recognize his daughter, the audience experiences the same dissociation. Even within the flat where Anthony lives, furniture subtly changes, timeframes shift, and apparent strangers appear as if from nowhere -- some of the most heartbreaking moments coming when he refuses to react for fear he can't possibly explain. It's an incredibly difficult watch at times, but Hopkins' performance makes the film such an intimate and compelling experience that it's hard to look away.

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