How to imagine that the first realization of the beloved playwright of Saint-Germain-des-Prés would meet a worldwide success? Robert Hirsch played it on stage in France. Success that has become international, The Father , Florian Zeller's first film , has just won two Oscars: best screenplay and best actor for its masterful interpreter Anthony Hopkins against Olivia Colman , imperial. The Father is THE slapstick to see this spring.
Forget about his life
In the solitude of his beautiful London apartment, Anthony's days seem to be punctuated by his little old man habits. Open the curtains, put away the groceries, listen to the opera, prepare the tea. Except that here, it is not at his place. He does not remember it, but he has just moved in with his daughter Anne, whom he sees coming back but does not recognize. Her husband ? Even less. Worse: the faces recognized one day seem to be exchanged with others the next day. “ Nonsense, ” he said to himself in VO, shouting conspiracy.
At 81, Anthony becomes a burden. Creates tensions between the spouses. Send the most patient and benevolent home helpers for a walk. But above all, he realizes that what seemed real yesterday no longer has any meaning today, and that it is he who loses control without being able to do anything about it.
A psychological thriller
Entering this brilliant brain suffering from senile dementia - a form of Alzheimer's, the viewer is himself lugged between the truths of some and the inconsistencies of others, no longer knowing who to believe.
A bit like Anthony, who would like to trust himself but seems overtaken by the reason embodied by those around him mirroring his reality. Like a psychological thriller , Florian Zeller plays with our credulity in the face of this charismatic man as troubled as he is disturbing. Who to believe?
The casting of her dreams
The French playwright dreamed of only these two to embody his father-daughter pair. Fortunately for him, Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman accepted the project, won over by the strength of their characters.
Well they took them: the Welshman gets away with an obvious Oscar for best actor, when the Queen of The Crown offers absolutely overwhelming scenes. Like Benjamin Button who would become a little boy again, the old man becomes dependent on others, does not deserve his slaps and cries bitterly, to the point of triggering ours.