Hope Gap: Film Review

Hope Gap

I know many people are going to be flocking to cinemas to see Tenet this weekend, but I want to throw an alternative movie into the ring. Hope Gap is a wonderful drama about separation and I enjoyed it just as much as, if not more than, Tenet.

This drama follows Grace (Annette Bening) and Edward (Bill Nighy), who have been married for 29 years and live in the seaside town of Seaford, where they used to visit an area under the cliffs called Hope Gap. Their marriage has stagnated – Grace is longing for a deep and honest conversation and her attempts only lead to him walking away to avoid speaking the truth. Their son Jamie (Josh O’Connor) comes to visit for the weekend and Edward informs him he has fallen in love with somebody else and plans to leave Grace that very day.

William Nicholson, who also directs, has written a terrific story. The dialogue is so rich, realistic, and well-observed that it had my attention immediately and held it for the vast majority of the movie (it slipped slightly towards the end). My favourite scenes were Grace and Edward’s confrontations at the beginning of the film and their respective conversations with Jamie, who ends up being their messenger.

The script is equally matched by the performances. The ever-reliable Bening really convinces as this hurt, bitter, and angry estranged wife struggling to accept her new life. Her British accent was believable, although it was inconsistent – like she didn’t know which kind of British she was going for in a particular scene. Nighy has never been better as Edward, who feels guilty for forging ahead with his new life and being happy with his new partner. O’Connor rounds out the strong cast as the go-between refusing to take sides while dealing with the loss of his family unit.

And to top it all off, it is beautiful to look at. The Seven Sisters cliffs of East Sussex are used as a backdrop, many scenes are shot on Seaford Head and down below at the Hope Gap, a popular rockpooling area. I actually want to go there myself after seeing this film.

With terrific performances, a stellar script, and a stunning location, what’s not to love about Hope Gap? I highly recommend.

In cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema from Friday 28th August

Rating: 4.5/5

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