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The Father

Opens on April 22

Director: Florian Zeller Run Time: 97 min. Rating: PG-13 Release Year: 2021

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Mark Gatiss, Olivia Colman, Olivia Williams

Country: United Kingdom, France
Language: English

Screening as part of Awards Season Weekend at the Center.  Passes include reserved seating at all in person screenings and the watch party for the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony on April 25.

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 “A bracingly insightful, subtle and nuanced look at encroaching dementia… an outstanding directorial debut”

– Todd McCarthy for Hollywood Reporter

About the film:

Premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2020 and screened at Toronto International Film Festival and AFI Fest. Earned six nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins, and Best Supporting Actress for Olivia Colman.

 Anthony is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the careers that his daughter, Anne, encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling.

As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her? The Father warmly embraces real life, through loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition; heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant – a movie that nestles in the truth of our own lives.

About the filmmaker:

Feature debut for French writer-director Florian Zeller based on his award-winning play, The Father, part of his acclaimed family drama trilogy that includes The Mother and The Son. He co-wrote the script with Christopher Hampton who has translated most of his works into English.

Zeller first rose to prominence as a budding novelist in the early 2000s before pivoting to theater. He published his first novel, Artificial Snow, in 2002 at age 22, and won the prestigious Interallié Prize in 2004 for his novel The Fascination of Evil.  He has written more than 10 plays which have been staged in more than 45 countries.

First staged in 2012, his outstanding black-comedy play The Father resonated with audiences worldwide. The play won awards in Paris, London, and New York, and earned Frank Langella a Tony Award in 2016. When crafting the story, Zeller was inspired by his grandmother’s struggle with dementia when he was a teenager.

“We can feel empathy only if we try to tell the story from the inside… I wanted to create a complicated structure in the narrative, to make the audience feel as if they were going through a labyrinth.”

Read more from Florian Zeller on adapting the play for film in MovieMaker or read his interview by Laura Cappelle for The New York Times.

Learn more about this year’s Awards Season
Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Campus Partners
G&J Pepsi
WOSU Public Media


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