Hope Gap

Hope Gap

It’s not me, it’s you.


Grace (Annette Bening) has her life all figured out. She shares the perfect marriage with Edward (Bill Nighy) in their idyllic cottage in a small English seaside town, comfortable in their small talk, anticipating each other’s needs and quite contentment.

Until, in the middle of a visit by their twenty-something son Jamie (Josh O’Connor), the granite-faced Edward announces that after 39 years, he’s leaving her. He’s fallen in love, he says.

Not a lot happens in this honest little gem, and those expecting emotional fireworks may find it a bit slow, but it’s never boring. Those willing to invest the time and attention, however, will have an engaging, insightful, unbelievably sad but ultimately quietly uplifting experience. 

It’s a movie you see for the acting, and Bening’s character, a smug, controlling woman with not the slightest trace of self-awareness, is its driving force. She’s so cluelessly off-putting it’s a wonder Edward waited this long to exit the loveless marriage. Brava, Annette!

It’s a bit stagey, adapted as it was by director William Nicholson from his own play, apparently based on his own parents. But this is a quibble. (100 min)

Japan release date: June 3, 2021

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