|Released 27 Jan 2020. |
By doing so, he actually presents a perspective more typical than other films about memory challenges.
The Father is one of about thirty "dementia films" that I've viewed in the last decade.
I find Anthony Hopkins' portrayal (of a character also named Anthony) to be one of the most realistic.
The majority of the film shows Anthony in conversation with a handful of care partners: family members--such as his daughter Anne played by Olivia Coleman--or those hired to care for him.
I judge the film to be realistic based on spending five years volunteering at a continuing care retirement community and ten years studying dementia as a graduate student and college instructor of gerontology.
Most films that depict dementia adopt one of the following perspectives:
- the perspective of an adult child i.e., What They Had (2018)
- the perspective of a spouse i.e., Still Mine (2013)
- an omniscient perspective i.e., Iris (2001)
- a first-person perspective of the person living with dementia
The Father, however, let's the viewers know early on that the main character is living with significant memory loss. I cried at the end as I recognized behaviors typical of people in mid-stage dementia.
By showing things from Anthony's point of view, I developed greater sympathy and compassion. I can't imaging the level of confusion people experience when trying to keep track of names, faces, dates, and places--all while the mind is compromised by any one of several neurocognitive disorders.