I cannot say what I want to say about this film without spoilers, so please don't read on if you want to find what happens in the film as it unfolds.
Anthony lives in a flat in London. His daughter Anne calls in on him every day. She is upset and worried because Anthony has driven away another care worker, and Anne is about to move to Paris in a new relationship. Anne's husband indicates that the flat is Anne's, not Anthony's. Anne seems to be an entirely different person,, but then she is Anne again. Her husband is someone different though. Some conversations are repeated. Anthony initially charms, then verbally attacks, Laura, a potential new care worker who reminds him of his other daughter, Lucy, who never comes to see him.
We realise early on that Anthony is in the grip of dementia, and through most of the piece, right up to the end, we are wondering hiw much of what we see is real, and how much is Anthony's disintegrating memory betraying him. Ultimately, we never know and it doesn't matter - despite it being very clear how destructive the impact of Anthony's dementia is on Anne (and possibly her busband - was she married? Was it a factor in the marriage breaking up?),what the film shows us is what it might be like inside the mind of someone whose foothold in the real world is increasingly unreliable.
Anthony Hopkins wins a well-deserved 2nd Best Actor Oscar for a portrayal of a character who is initially unlikeable but, by the end, is almost literally a little lost boy. The rest of the cast are also excellent.
Florian Zeller directs this adaptation of his own play (the adapted screenplay also won an Oscar). It is wise, sad, accurate and compassionate. If you and your family have never been touched by dementia then you may well marvel at the clever and kind telling of a worthwhile story, brought to life by a crew of supremely gifted artists.
My family has been touched by dementia on a number of occasions.
At different times, I saw in this film my grandparents, my mother-in-law, my wife, my father, my mother, my brother and myself, and all at times in our lives which could never be called happy. It struck very close to home, and I found it brutal.
Drama / Mystery
Drama / Mystery
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Having just scared off his recent caregiver, Anthony, an ailing, octogenarian Londoner gradually succumbing to dementia, feels abandoned when concerned Anne, his daughter, tells him she's moving to Paris. Confused and upset, against the backdrop of a warped perspective and his rapid, heart-rending mental decline, Anthony is starting to lose his grip on reality, struggling to navigate the opaque landscape of present and past. Now, as faded memories and glimpses of lucidity trigger sudden mood swings, dear ones, Anthony's surroundings, and even time itself become distorted. Why has his younger daughter stopped visiting? Who are the strangers that burst in on Anthony?
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