Edward (Bill Nighy) & Grace (Annette Bening) are a couple who have been married for twenty-nine years. In the present day, the two live in a small town with stunning views- Hope Gap. The marriage has become a real struggle for each of them. Each day is full of many arguments, disagreements, and general quietness.
When their son Jamie (Josh O’Conner) visits his parents for a weekend, Edward sits down with Jamie and tells him he’s planning to leave his mother, Grace. Edward also reveals to his son that he’s going to tell Grace straight after their conversation, then he’s going to pack his things and leave her on the same day. Edward states he’s tried everything, and this next step is the only outcome available. Next we watch several characters deal with this shocking and heartbreaking news. Each character (a father, mother and a son) all bring a unique aspect and perspective to the situation, seeking peace or resolution.
I know what you’re thinking. A film about a couple splitting up sounds awful and depressing. The topic is undoubtedly a sensitive one, but the film is so much more than just a sad and dramatic story. It focuses on the many elements and issues each character suffer through. Perhaps the film can be relatable depending on the viewer’s personal experience.
Performance, as you would expect given the leads, are absolutely brilliant. Annette Bening & Bill Nighy own this movie and are perfectly cast. As you can imagine, watching Annette Bening struggling with the shock of her husband wanting to move on is gripping to watch. Still, I was generally curious about the film’s outcomes as the actress goes on a rollercoaster ride of emotion. Bill Nighy is also tremendous as a heartbroken man and is sincerely saddened by the choices he feels he has been forced to make. Honestly, this film reminds me why I personally love both actors in everything they do.
I also enjoyed the filming style thanks to the director William Nicholson. Nothing is missed here, especially when it comes to capturing tensions and emotions on screen. Even moments that consist of silence plays a substantial part in this film. Full credit goes to the director, who has delivered a film that touches on a sensitive and challenging topic, but handled the subject matter professionally as a film.
Overall, I found Hope Gap an extremely pleasing film. Sure, it’s a film about a couple dealing with heartbreak and separation. But Hope Gap for me was so much more than that. It’s filled with beautiful performances from both Annette Bening and Bill Nighy. I was engaged with this film for the entire duration, and I was curious to know each character’s outcomes in this film. Hope Gap is simply touching, heartfelt and genuine.
Hope Gap (2020) is Now Available on DVD!