Florian Zeller‘s The Father (Sony Classics, 12./18) is “the best film about the wages of aging since Amour eight years ago,” according to critic Todd McCarthy.
Pic “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 Zeller [and] looks to be a significant title for Sony Classics domestically later in the year.”
Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman: “Which scenario is real, and which one has [Hopkins’ character] hallucinated? We can’t quite tell, but in each case what we’re seeing feels real, and that’s the film’s ingenious gambit.
“In The Father, Zeller plants us inside a convincing homespun reality only to reveal that it was a mirage; before our eyes, the solidity turns to quicksand. Or was the reality before it the mirage? The film gives us small sharp clues to get our bearings, and each time we do it pulls the rug out again, seducing us into thinking that this time we’re on firm ground.”