Oscars 2021: a fine harvest of nominations for the French film “The Father” by Florian Zeller

The Father by Florian Zeller: this first film, by a Frenchman, has just been nominated for the Oscars in six categories and first in that of best film. The Father is here in competition with Judas and the Black Messiah by Shaka King, Minari by Lee Isaac Chung, Nomadland by Chloé Zhao, Promising Young Woman by Emerald Fennell, Sound of Metal by Darius Marder, Chicago Seven by Aaron Sorkin and Mank by David Fincher, the latter leading the Oscar race with ten nominations. The Oscars will be presented on April 25 in Los Angeles.

The Father was nominated in five other categories: Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins, Best Supporting Actress for Olivia Colman, Best Adapted Screenplay for Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton, Best Editing for Yorgos Lamprinos and Best Set for Cathy Featherstone and Peter Francis.

Starring Anthony Hopkins, The Father has been on an extraordinary international journey for a few days. On the night of March 9 to 10, the film by Florian Zeller – the playwright’s first – was nominated in the category “best first film” by the Guild of American Directors, after receiving six nominations for the Bafta, the most prestigious awards in British cinema. “It’s unheard of, and a sign that French filmmakers should not be buried”, declares one of the French producers, Jean-Louis Livi, also recalling that the film had been nominated four times at the Golden Globes but ultimately not rewarded. Unlike other films like Tea Artist (2012, five Oscars) or The kid (2008, two Oscars), “Tea Father is a first film, shot in English, at London, with actors very identified Anglo-Saxons “, adds the other French producer, Philippe Carcassonne.

Film adaptation of the hit play of the same name which won Florian Zeller a Moliere in 2014 and a host of other awards abroad, this feature film also won last week the Goya (Spanish award) for best European film.

Ironically, this film, very controlled, in which Anthony Hopkins, 83, plays an elderly Londoner plunging into dementia, has not yet been released in France, pandemic requires. It will arrive on the screens after the reopening of the rooms, promises its distributor Orange Studio.

In addition to the British actor, Florian Zeller embarked on the adventure of Olivia Colman (who played Elizabeth II in the successful series The Crown and won the Oscar for Best Actress for The Favorite in 2019). She plays the daughter of Anthony Hopkins. The Father sometimes flirts with the thriller and the horror film and takes viewers on a captivating and baffling journey inside the sinking mind of Anthony Hopkins. Family members become unrecognizable as strangers inexplicably appear in his London apartment, which itself seems to transform before the character’s eyes, and those of the viewer.

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Oscars 2021: a fine harvest of nominations for the French film “The Father” by Florian Zeller

Hank Gilbert