Hope Gap

Another Bill Nighy film (he is certainly not allowing his fans to miss him during isolation). Another one for fans of British style films. Meaning that it is wordy, emotions are for the most part restrained and it is often slow in pace.

Grace (Annette Bening – The American President, 20th Century Women) and Edward (Bill Nighy – About Time, Sometimes Always Never) have been married a good long while. Twenty-nine years to be precise. You would think that at this point they were in it for the long haul. As a surprise to all, especially Grace, while their twenty-something son Jamie (Josh O’Connor – from television’s The Crown) was home for a weekend visit, Edward announces that he is leaving Grace. He has fallen in love with the mother of one of his students.

Grace is shocked. Can’t believe it. Goes through all of the stages. Withdrawal. Depression. Anger. Disbelief. Denial. Still residing in the small seaside town she always has, Grace, with the help of Jamie, tries to regain her footing and forge forward in life.

As she moves through her career, Annette Bening has proved time and time again that she is capable of anything when it comes to acting. Nothing seems beyond her reach. Here she has to do plenty of her conveying of the emotions of Grace with her face and body. Bringing her grief and anger to life with physicality rather than words. Another tour de force to add to her ever growing pile of acting master classes.

Bill Nighy is really in his wheelhouse here. He has forged a successful career playing the quiet, meek man. Nighy totally knows this type of man. He inhabits Edward with every square inch of his body.

A totally realistic portrayal of the end of a long term relationship. You leave it knowing that really neither is the bad guy or to be wholly blamed for the situation. It is just something that happened in which they both contributed. No villain and no hero.

It will be one of those films which flies under the radar, which is a shame as it is well-acted and written.

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