Olivia Colman and Sir Anthony Hopkins may need to reinforce the foundations of their mantels for the next awards season after their new movie, The Father, premieres in December. The drama about a dementia sufferer is already generating Oscars buzz.
The Father is based on French playwright Florian Zeller’s play of the same title, which debuted at the Théâtre Hébertot, Paris, in 2012 and has become an acclaimed theatre event around the world.
The trailer indicates a heartbreaking story about a dementia sufferer’s decline and the effect it has on his family. Sir Anthony plays the father who appears to be losing grip on reality as his daughter, Anne (Olivia Colman), prepares to move to Paris with her husband, Paul (Rufus Sewell).
Anne hires a nurse (Imogen Poots), but when another woman (Olivia Williams) appears to become his daughter and another man, Paul (Mark Gatiss), it’s clear that the father’s condition requires more than home help. He refuses to leave his apartment, however.
Zeller, who directed his own adaptation for the big screen, told EW earlier this year: “The idea was never just to tell a story about dementia from the outside — it was to give the opportunity to the audience to experience signs of dementia, as if they were in the main character’s head.
“I really wanted to keep that narrative in the adaptation,” he added.
The Father gained worldwide attention when the English translation, by playwright Christopher Hampton, was performed at the Theatre Royal in Bath in 2014, before transferring to the West End in 2015, with Kenneth Cranham in the lead role.
It has already been adapted for the big screen: the French comedy-drama Floride was based on the play and premiered in 2015, but Zeller was not involved in the production, although he did write a French TV version of Le père in 2015.
Colman won the Best Actress Award for her role in The Favourite at the 2019 Academy Awards. Sir Anthony won Best Actor for 1992’s Silence of the Lambs.
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