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Sir Anthony Hopkins wins second Oscar

Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins Image credit: apnews.com

Sir Anthony Hopkins picked up Best Actor at last night’s Academy Awards for his portrayal of an elderly man living with memory loss.

His movie, The Father, was nominated in a number of categories at the prestigious ceremony in Los Angles, but sadly he was unable to collect his Oscar in person.

Sir Anthony pre-recorded an acceptance speech from his home in Wales where he praised late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who was favourite to win a posthumous award for playing an eager trumpeter in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Boseman was suffering from colon cancer filming his final movie keeping his illness from cast members and crew.

In his speech Sir Anthony said: “Good morning. Here I am in my homeland in Wales, and at 83 years of age I did not expect to get this award, I really didn’t.

“Very grateful to the Academy and thank you, and I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early.

“And again thank you all very much. Really did not expect this, so I feel very privileged and honoured. Thank you.”

In his award film Hopkins plays an 80-year-old man with dementia living in lavish apartment in London’s Maida Vale area where he has regular visits from his daughter Anne (Olivia Coleman).

"What I wanted to do was not tell the story from the outside, but the inside, and put the audience in an active position, as if they were in the main character's head," director and writer Florian Zeller told the BBC last year.

"I wanted The Father to be a bit more than a story, but like an experience, as if you [the viewer] were the one losing your bearings."

Zeller script was inspired when his grandmother developed dementia when he was 15.

Originally written as a play Zeller paid extra attention when he turned his story into a film. What I didn't want to do was just to film a play, because I think it's not very exciting," he explained. "So I worked hard on the script with [British playwright Sir] Christopher Hampton to make it as cinematic as possible.

"Of course, the first thoughts and advice you get when adapting a play into a film, is to try and write new scenes outside, to make it feel more cinematic. And that's a temptation, and usually what you do."

The luxury flat pays an important part in the film. "What I wanted to do is for the audience to recognise the place, because at the beginning, it's Anthony's apartment, you recognise the space, the knick-knacks, the furniture,” Zeller said.

"And step by step, always in the background, you have small changes, small metamorphoses in the set, and you never quite know exactly what happened, but something has happened, so you have the feeling you are in the same place, and yet also somewhere else. It was a way to make the audience doubt where we are, and to play with the feeling of disorientation... and something that was not possible to do on stage."

Sir Anthony Hopkins is the oldest person to win an Oscar at the age of 83.