The Father (Blu-ray Review)


The Film
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements


An extremely well done adaptation of writer-director Florian Zeller's stage play that portrays an elderly man who has begun his rapid descent into dementia in spite of his devoted daughter's valiant efforts to keep him in his flat and out of a nursing home stars Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins.

The Father Blu-ray (Sony)Playwright Florian Zeller makes his feature film directorial debut with The Father, for which he also co-wrote the screenplay from his own stage play. The film stars Anthony Hopkins who won an Oscar for his performance as an elderly man, Anthony who is living with his daughter Anne (Olivia Colman) in her apartment after having ruined the relationship with a string of live-in nurses. Anthony, now suffering from dementia, is struggling to come to grips with the new reality of his living circumstances or even make sense of what is reality and what isn’t.

The brilliance of Zeller’s story and his direction is he doesn’t just present us with a story about an elderly man suffering from dementia and a daughter trying to cope, instead, Zeller puts us in the perspective of Anthony as his loose grasp on the present and slipping memories become part of the scenes that playout in the film — an argument with another daughter and her husband or a discussion with Anne about her moving to Paris. The viewer begins to question the actual sequence of events or the reality one is seeing. Hopkins’ powerful performance was definitely worthy of an Oscar® despite protestations that the Academy ‘robbed’ Chadwick Boseman, who was also nominated and may very well have deserved the win for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

All controversies aside, The Father is a poignant and powerful film that is an amazing directorial debut for Florian Zeller and stays with you long after the credits have finished rolling.

The Video

The Father was shot on the Sony CineAlta Venice with Zeiss Supreme Prime and Compact Zoom lenses in X-OCN ST (6K) and a 4K DI was used in mastering. The Blu-ray arrives with an AVC 1080p encodement framed at 2.39:1. We get a clean, crisp image that is free from banding or haloing, has nuanced shadows and lots of front-to-back extension. The colors look very natural with warm earth tone hues and some cooler shades as well as the film ventures out of the flat or shifts between realities. It is all presented perfectly here making this one of the best-looking Blu-rays of the year so far.

The Audio

The Father comes with a very straightforward English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio mix. This is a dialogue-driven film with little in the way of foley effects that supply a sense of dynamics or motion. The most we get are the occasional bursts of classical music that sound quite good. The dialogue is clear and mainly in the center channel or limited to a narrow stereo field. Surrounds are very quiet and low frequencies barely register here but aren’t really needed for this sort of film. A stereo mix may have served just as well.

The Supplements

The supplements on The Father are limited to two brief featurettes that explore the story from Zeller and the making of the film with interviews of the cast and crew as well as a few deleted scenes that further the narrative of Anthony’s descent into dementia and the emotional trauma of the situation.

  • Perception Check: Portrait of The Father (1080p; 00:08:32)
  • Homecoming: Making The Father (1080p; 00:07:06)
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p; 00:05:58):
    • I Never Asked You for Anything
    • Did He Hear?
    • Frightened
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p)

The Final Assessment

This excellent award-winning film is given a reference transfer on Blu-ray from Sony. This one is well worth owning for the performance by Anthony Hopkins alone and the picture quality makes it an even bigger value. Highly recommended.

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The Father is out on Blu-ray may 18, 2021 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

  • Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for some strong language, and thematic material)
  • Studios & Distributors: Les Films du Cru (present) | Film4 (present) | Orange Studio (in association with) | Canal+ (in association with) | Ciné+ (in association with) | Embankment Films (in association with) | F Comme Film (production) | Trademark Films (production) | Cine@ (production) | AG Studios NYC (production consultant) | Viewfinder | Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Director: Florian Zeller
  • Written By: Christopher Hampton (screenplay by) | Florian Zeller (screenplay by, based on the play by)
  • Run Time: 97 Mins.
  • Street Date: 18 May 2021
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Subtitles: English |English SDH

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An extremely well done adaptation of writer-director Florian Zeller's stage play that portrays an elderly man who has begun his rapid descent into dementia in spite of his devoted daughter's valiant efforts to keep him in his flat and out of a nursing home stars Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins. The Father (Blu-ray Review)