Rent Hope Gap (2018)

3.2 of 5 from 249 ratings
1h 31min
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Grace (Annette Bening) and Edward (Bill Nighy) have been married for 29 years and live in a small seaside town called Hope Gap. During a visit from their son Jamie (Josh O'Connor) Edward informs them both that he plans to leave Grace and walks out the door that very same day. With the whole family knocked into disarray, Grace has to find a way through this new life which she least expected and, with the help of her son, achieve hope once again. 'Hope Gap' tracks the emotional unravelling of a tight knit family going through divorce and walking the thin line between love and hate.
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Sarada McDermott, David M. Thompson
William Nicholson
Curzon / Artificial Eye
Drama, Romance
2021, Through Time
Release Date:
Run Time:
91 minutes
English Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Curzon Living Room Q&A with Director and Cast
  • Trailer

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Reviews (14) of Hope Gap

Trivial piece about an important subject - Hope Gap review by PD

Spoiler Alert

Ignoring the largely indifferent reviews, I took a punt on this one, but unfortunately pretty much everything, be it the acting, the screenplay, the direction, all falls rather flat. It's a promising premise - most divorce dramas start at the beginning and lead you to the break-up, whereas this one starts at the end and concentrates on the fall-out, but sadly, since it seems deliberately keen to avoid any kind of emotional depth, what we end up with is a very trivial piece about an important subject and you end up not really caring much about these people.

Nighy as Edward appears right for his role; his early scenes of biding-his-time tolerance before the great revelation are pretty good, but he remains rather one-dimensional throughout, and whilst O’Connor does ok with a dreadfully thin script, they remain more archetypes of a feuding couple than flesh-and-blood people who were once in love with one another; Nicholson’s failure to probe Grace and Edward’s interior landscapes, or even get at the root problems of their marriage, only makes the film’s attempts at big emotional gestures feel all the more hollow. Added to the mix is Josh O'Connor as son Jamie, but rather than explore the dysfunctional context of this father-son relationship and whatever led up to such a callous, manipulative decision, Nicholson settles for propping him as the helpless middleman with the result that he spends much of the film giving us various pained expressions of one sort or another. And when he finally does have something to 'do' it all ends badly - a truly terrible sequence involving Jamie talking to his mother about a desire to commit suicide on the cliff edge is terribly trite - I've seen better work from sixth-formers, frankly. The overall result of all this is a film that, as with a dull play (and this does feel very 'stagey'), tries your patience at times. Meanwhile, Cinematographer Anna Valdez-Hanks provides breathtaking views of the coastline, but those vistas feel more like some tv nature documentary rather than anything complementary to what is going on, whilst the portentous score is simply an irritating distraction.

There's one or two good lines that get us underneath Grace's complex skin, as it were, but, aside from an ill-judged attempt to shoehorn some famous poetry into the action, the basic problem is that Grace is defined entirely by her relation to Edward and Jamie. We’re told that Grace is a creative soul nourished by her faith and driven by her passion, but except for one brief scene of her at early Mass, we see precious little of either - it’s as if she disappears as soon as the men in her life leave the room. Perhaps only a man could make a film about a 'left woman' that cares more about the leaver.

Mercifully short.

5 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

Awful script leads 2 great across to perform awkwardly - Hope Gap review by SD

Spoiler Alert

An awful leaden script which is leads the actors to speak in leaden, predictable tones. Really not worth watching 

3 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Truly terrible - Hope Gap review by TH

Spoiler Alert

Wow this film was terrible. The acting was really bad from 2 actors who are normally fairly good. I feel this is down to one of the worst scripts I've heard in a while. It felt like a first draft. Nothing interesting happens at all and you will not care one bit about the characters who have zero personality.

Both Nighy and Benning should erase this from their cv.

3 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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