In a surprise surprise about the nominee who many expected would be the slam dunk winner, Anthony Hopkins won the Best Actor Academy Award on Sunday night for his performance in « The Father ». Hopkins, who won his second Academy Award for Best Actor after « The Silence of the Lambs » in 1991, shouldn’t stand out against the late actor Chadwick Boseman when it was his turn on « Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. » Together with Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Hopkins (83 years old) won the Oscar over Riz Ahmed for « Sound of Metal », Gary Oldman for « Mank » and Steven Yeun for « Minari ». A small minority predicted Hopkins could be the winner after receiving the BAFTA’s Best Actor Award earlier this month for « The Father, » in which he plays an aging man struggling with dementia opposite Olivia Colman, who was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress this year for her appearance as his daughter in the film.
Otherwise, the path for Boseman, who died unexpectedly of colon cancer in August 2020, had been straightforward to win the Oscar for the best actor to win. He had already received countless critical awards as well as the Golden Globe, the SAG Award and many other awards from 2020.
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In total, Hopkins has been nominated for six Academy Awards in his career, including last year for Best Supporting Actor for « The Two Popes ». In addition to winning « Silence of the Lambs » for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter, he has also received nominations for « Amistad », « Nixon » and « The Remains of the Day » in the past.
« The Father » was made by Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton written from Zeller’s play, with Zeller making his feature film directorial debut and adapting his own stage work. Already ready to adapt another of his acclaimed plays about mismatched family life, « The Son, » starring Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman and Oscar winner Laura Dern.
In an IndieWire interview the famous actor spoke to Anthony Hopkins about why the subject of dementia (which the film uses to distort its production design, as well as the actors playing different roles to the confusion of its character) resonated. « Everyone is related to this topic, » he said. « Everyone has a father or has to deal with this dilemma of what to do with people you love when they have dementia … we’re all in the same boat. » Hopkins said he did Got script from his agent out of the blue. “It was just a perfect script,” said Hopkins, “the clarity and compactness got my attention right. I read it,“ Boy, God, that’s it! ”I want to do it, it’s written as simple as that, no fanfare from Hollywood, it’s a small independent film, a French film with an English actor. The style is a very French film. «
Hopkins also talked about his no-frills approach to the material. He’s not a method actor as he explained but said he only showed up to do the job. « My only theory, I don’t know much, is that you have to trust, » he said. « You have to be sure you know what you are doing , e.g. B. drive a car, play tennis or be a carpenter. You have to know the technique, learn the text. I stopped thinking. You devour the text until it becomes part of you for those days. You follow the impulses and suggestions of the director and listen. «
Zeller said of his leading actor: » My admiration for what he did was immense. He went to an emotional, fragile, vulnerable place. It wasn’t about creating the character, it was something more instinctive I was hoping that Anthony would just stand in front of the camera, not fake the illness and try to be as connected as possible with truthful feelings. ”
The film ends with a harrowing scene in which Hopkins collapses in a hospice facility and crying for his mother. “It was the most challenging scene,” he said. “You have to be emotionally mature for it.” He said that when the first take didn’t go well for him, he went back to his locker room to prepare to try again. He turned to keywords to evoke deep childhood emotions: « Mom, the wind, the rain. » It’s an intense finale that Oscar voters certainly couldn’t ignore.
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