Are they having a laugh? How The Father’s posters get the film so wrong | The Father


The Father isn’t out in the UK till subsequent month, however we already know loads about it. We all know that its script received an Oscar for the uncanny approach it dropped the viewer into the thoughts of somebody with dementia. We all know that Anthony Hopkins gave such a harrowing, determined efficiency that he additionally received an Oscar. Maybe you even learn the New Yorker interview with Hopkins about the position, which impressed him to recount the circumstances of his personal father’s dying in devastating element. Mainly, we all know that The Father is kind of a darkish film.

Beaming … the second UK poster.

Somebody ought to actually point out this to whoever is in control of making the posters. As a result of it’s troublesome to recollect a film that has been this relentlessly miscommunicated. In the newest one, Hopkins sits with a realizing half-smile on his lips whereas Olivia Colman beams at him. Apart from a lot of boasting about all the awards it received, that’s all there’s to go on. “Look,” it coos, “right here’s a film about a beautiful outdated man’s beautiful relationship together with his beautiful daughter.” Which, admittedly, may need extra well-liked attraction than: “That is a horror film about the agony of neurodegenerative dementia that awaits many people.” However that isn’t actually an excuse.

An early poster for The Father
Feelgood issue … an early poster.

The earlier posters haven’t been significantly better. The first did no less than have a background, nevertheless it nonetheless featured Colman gazing adorably at a beautiful outdated man. And the quotes didn’t assist a lot, both. There have been loads about the appearing – “Anthony Hopkins is beautiful”, “Olivia Colman provides an affecting and tender efficiency”, that form of factor – however not a lot about the film itself.


That is unusual, as a result of it isn’t as if The Father is wanting for effusive evaluations. The Sydney Morning Herald referred to as it “far scarier than something Freddy Krueger ever threw at us”. The Boston Herald referred to as it a “scary dementia drama”. The New York Occasions referred to as it “profoundly upsetting”. The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee stated that “it’ll hang-out me for weeks”. Stick any of these on a poster and audiences can have a significantly better thought of what they’re stepping into.

A for your consideration poster for The Father
All smiles … one other ‘on your consideration poster’. {Photograph}: PR Firm Handout

Even weirder is that the trailer will get it. It’s queasy and discombobulating, and options loads of photographs the place Colman gulps again tears at the shadow of the man her father has turn out to be. Watch that and also you’ll perceive the evaluations. But when your publicity is proscribed to the beautiful poster, it begins to really feel like a trick designed to get the King’s Speech crowd again into cinemas.

It may not be the most deceptive poster of all time – that title nonetheless goes to the American poster for The Italian Job, the place an nameless gangster totes a machine gun subsequent to a bare girl – nevertheless it comes awfully shut.

The Father is a vital darling. It has the largest awards in the enterprise. It doesn’t must idiot viewers into pondering it’s a feelgood drama. That’s, until this was all a deliberate ploy to throw us off and make us doubt our personal instincts, similar to The Father’s lead character. By which case it’s an absolute masterwork.

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