Winner of two Academy Awards including Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins) and Best Adapted Screenplay, The Father arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The Production: 4.5/5
Anthony (Anthony Hopkins, who took home his second Best Actor Oscar for his role) lives with his daughter Anne (Olivia Coleman) in a spacious flat in London, rejecting caretakers left and right due to his bouts with dementia, as she desperately tries to find someone to take care of him before leaving for Paris to live with her boyfriend Paul (Rufus Sewell). Based on his French stage play, Director Florian Zeller’s The Father is a fascinating and sometimes too realistic character study of an elderly man losing himself to dementia, told from his point of view, which at times can be frustrating to its audience, as actors will suddenly change roles or the surroundings will alter slightly mid-scene. That is part of the brilliance of the film, in addition to Hopkins’ nearly perfect performance, who’s moods and actions change instantaneously. He can be charming one minute, then downright mean the next. The film is not an easy watch, but captivating in its performances and execution.
3D Rating: NA
The Father was captured in 6K resolution using Sony CineAlta Venice cameras and completed as a 4K digital intermediate. Although available digitally in UHD (and at the time of this review, not MA eligible), Sony has opted to release the film on physical media in the Blu-ray format. This is still an excellent 1080p AVC-encoded presentation of the film in its 2.39:1 theatrical aspect ratio. Colors appear natural and well-saturated, with excellent fine detail from subtle aging of Hopkins as the story progresses to fabric textures and set dressings. Contrast is very good, with deep blacks and very good shadow detail with minimal crushing.
The disc’s sole audio option, in English DTS-HD MA 5.1, does what it needs to do and really nothing more. This is a dialogue-driven drama, and that is where this track excels, with outstanding clarity. This is also a very front-heavy mix, providing a wide front soundstage and little to no surround or LFE activity.
Special Features: 3/5
Perception Check: Portrait of “The Father” (1080p; 8:32): Adapting the play and translating to English, the story’s themes, etc.
Homecoming: Making “The Father” (1080p; 7:06): A more straight-forward behind the scenes look at making the film.
Deleted Scenes (1080p; 5:58): Three scenes are included – I Never Asked You For Anything, Did He Hear? and Frightened.
Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 2:15)
The Father is a moving and often painful story of a man succumbing to dementia, played to perfection by Anthony Hopkins. Recommended.
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