Based on the true-life story of John Mortmer's barrister father who was blinded in an accident, everything is first-rate about this production: casting, acting and filming - all done with loving care.
When he was no longer able to act onstage, Olivier did his finest work for TV (most cinema films he appeared in were mediocre). He portrays to perfection the waspish, cynical, difficult, eccentric father who thus hides the agony of losing his sight in middle age and acts as if all was normal. He can on occasion be surprisingly helpful and understanding towards his son. All these facets of character are conveyed to perfection by Olivier, who has mastered the art of understatement so necessary for television performance. His performance is often extremely funny too, as when he sings "Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green" while the other parents sing a hymn at a school speech day. Physically, his performance is outstanding: he gradually ages from robust middle-age to sunken-cheeked, dying old man and his portrayal of blindness is uncannily realistic.
The filming of the English countryside and the gently nostalgic atmosphere add to the delights of "A Voyage Round My Father".
Not to be missed, for a witty, perceptive film and for the chance of seeing a truly great actor at his peak.