WHAT I LIKED: Florian Zeller's 'The Father,' paints a heart-wrenching picture of what it must be like to live with dementia by showing a sufferer's (Anthony Hopkins) relationship with his daughter and carers through confused eyes. Initially, we see events unfold believing that they're gospel; his daughter Anne (Olivia Colman) tells him she's moving to Paris, he's living in her flat, and that a new carer is coming to meet and look after him. But then Zeller tactfully and subtley starts new scenes around him with different actors, settings and outcomes, and we slowly begin to realise that they're the same scenes playing out based on what's going on in Anthony's mind.
This leaves him increasingly paranoid, confused and angry, and you can empathise with that not least because you're agonisingly trying to figure out the true reality along with him, but also because Hopkins does such an unbelievably convincing job of bringing those conflicting emotions to life alongside a very real, peristent personality. From the various perspectives, we also see Anne struggling immensely with it too; flitting between despair, compassion and sadness, and Colman also does a great job of selling that.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The fact it's all shown through Anthony's bewildered eyes makes it very easy to empathise with him, but the suspense created by that somewhat takes away from the sadness of it.
VERDICT: 'The Father,' very cleverly puts us in the shoes of a bewildered dementia sufferer, and that - along with a great lead performance - makes for a very empathetic portrait indeed.