Bill Cooper, a middle-aged marketing expert, is separated from his wife who is living in their old apartment with their son and her new lover. At a party, he meets Roger Miles, a schoolteacher whose wife has left him. When Bill learns that this woman wants to leave for Australia with her lesbian lover and Roger's son, he convinces the mild educator to take legal action against her.

The Good Father, adapted for the screen by Christopher Hampton from a book by Peter Prince, provides a riveting portrait of a sundered marriage and the fallout from the separation. Anthony Hopkins gives an intense performance as Bill Hooper, a man who tries to vent his anger and ache for revenge by intruding into the affairs of his friend. Although his stormy character is at the center of this top-drawer drama, Jim Broadbent is very sympathetic as Roger Miles; Miriam Margolyes is good as a fierce feminist lawyer; Simon Callow comes across well as an unscrupulous barrister; and Joanne Whalley is touching as the young lover whom Bill brushes aside.