The Father's Florian Zeller Says He 'Wrote the Script' for Anthony Hopkins as He Wins Oscar
The Father beat Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Nomadland, One Night in Miami and The White Tiger to win Best Adapted Screenplay at the 93rd Academy Awards
The Father joins the Academy Awards family with its Best Adapted Screenplay win at Sunday's 2021 Oscars.
The film, based on writer and director Florian Zeller's 2012 play Le Père, beat out fellow nominees Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, and The White Tiger to take home the Best Adapted Screenplay award.
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"It's such a great honor," Zeller, 41, said while accepting the award remotely. "And I share these joys and this award with [co-writer] Chris Hampton. We have worked together for years, and I want to thank him for being such a great writer and such a wonderful friend."
Zeller continued to thank the movie's cast and crew, as well as star Anthony Hopkins.
"I wrote the script for him," the Frenchman said of the 83-year-old Welsh actor. "To me, he's the greatest, the greatest living actor. And just the idea to work with him was like a dream. I knew that it was not an easy dream to fulfill because I'm French, as you can hear.
"It was my first feature film, and you know, he's Anthony Hopkins. But I thought until someone comes and proves that it was not possible, it means that potentially, it is," Zeller added. "And sometimes we are the ones who close the door for what is possible and what is not possible. And for The Father, I really wanted not to close that door and to follow my inspiration, my desire, and my dream."
"So thank you, Anthony, for having said 'Yes' to that script and thank you for giving everything to that film. Your energy, your grace, and your talent, sharing that journey with you was the most amazing experience of my life."
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The Father follows a woman named Anne (Olivia Colman) as she visits her dad Anthony (Hopkins), a man who has dementia but doesn't want a caretaker to look after him. With Anne moving to Paris, she wants to leave her father in capable hands. Zeller tells the story from Anthony's perspective as he navigates the world with increasing confusion.
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"It's true that I wanted to put the audience in a unique position as if they were experiencing what it means to lose your bearings," Zeller told Town & Country. "I wanted the audience to be in an active position, to go through a labyrinth and to question everything they are witnessing."
Reading the script of The Father for the first time "was the first time I'd ever experienced anything written from that point of view," Colman, 47, told Entertainment Tonight. "To suddenly make sense of the confusion because you are as confused. It's been quite nice to understand where the confusion can stem from."
The 93rd Academy Awards are airing live on Sunday, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.