The Father (2020 film)

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The Father
The Father 2020 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFlorian Zeller
Produced by
  • Philippe Carcassonne
  • Simon Friend
  • Jean-Louis Livi
  • David Parfitt
  • Christophe Spadone
Screenplay by
Based onLe Père
by Florian Zeller
Music byLudovico Einaudi
CinematographyBen Smithard
Edited byYorgos Lamprinos
Distributed by
Release date
  • 27 January 2020 (2020-01-27) (Sundance)
  • 18 December 2020 (2020-12-18) (United States)
  • 8 January 2021 (2021-01-08) (United Kingdom)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

The Father is a 2020 drama film co-written and directed by Florian Zeller, based on his 2012 play Le Père. The film stars Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, and Olivia Williams, and follows an aging Welshman who must deal with his progressing memory loss.

The Father had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on 27 January 2020. It is scheduled to be released in the United States on 18 December 2020, by Sony Pictures Classics, and in the United Kingdom on 8 January 2021, by Lionsgate. The film received acclaim from critics, who lauded Hopkins' and Colman’s performances.


A man struggles with ageing as his daughter moves into his flat with him.



It was announced in May 2019 that Florian Zeller was to direct and co-write a screenplay with Christopher Hampton based on his play. Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman were cast in the film. Olivia Williams, Rufus Sewell, Imogen Poots and Mark Gatiss joined later that month, with filming beginning on 13 May.[2]


It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on 27 January 2020.[3] Prior to this, Sony Pictures Classics and Lionsgate acquired U.S. and U.K. distribution rights to the film, respectively.[4][5] It will also screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2020.[6] It is scheduled to be released in the United States on 18 December 2020.[7] It is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on 8 January 2021.[8]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 100% based on 24 reviews, with an average rating of 8.48/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Led by stellar performances and artfully helmed by writer-director Florian Zeller, The Father presents a devastatingly empathetic portrayal of dementia."[9] At Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 86 out of 100, based on nine critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[10]

Writing for Variety, Owen Gleiberman said "The Father does something that few movies about mental deterioration in old age have brought off in quite this way, or this fully. It places us in the mind of someone losing his mind — and it does so by revealing that mind to be a place of seemingly rational and coherent experience."[11] For The Guardian, Benjamin Lee wrote of Hopkins' performance: "It's astounding, heartbreaking work, watching him try to rationally explain to himself and those around him what he's experiencing. In some of the film's most quietly upsetting moments, his world has shifted yet again but he remains silent, knowing that any attempt to question what he's woken up to will only fall on deaf ears. Hopkins runs the full gamut from fury to outrage to upset and never once does it feel like a constructed character bit, despite our association with him as an actor with a storied career."[12]

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "The best film about the wages of aging since Amour eight years ago, The Father 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 the play's French author Florian Zeller."[13]





  1. ^ "The Father". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  2. ^ Anthony Hopkins & Olivia Colman To Star In Stage Play Adaptation ‘The Father’, Embankment To Launch Sales — Cannes
  3. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (4 December 2019). "Sundance Unveils Female-Powered Lineup Featuring Taylor Swift, Gloria Steinem, Abortion Road Trip Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  4. ^ Lang, Brent (17 January 2020). "Sundance: Sony Pictures Classics Buys 'The Father' With Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman". Variety. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  5. ^ White, Peter (29 May 2019). "Lionsgate Takes UK Rights To Florian Zeller's 'The Father' With Anthony Hopkins & Olivia Colman". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  6. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (30 July 2020). "Toronto Sets 2020 Lineup: Werner Herzog, Regina King, Mira Nair, Francois Ozon, Naomi Kawase Titles Join Hybrid Edition". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (14 September 2020). "Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins' 'The Father' Gets Release Date". Variety. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  8. ^ "The Father". Launching Films. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  9. ^ "The Father (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  10. ^ "The Father Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
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  14. ^ Sonaiya Kelley (30 July 2020). "Toronto Film Festival movies: Full lineup for virtual edition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
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