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Hope Gap

William Nicholson

It may be a familiar storyline – what happens when a couple falls apart. Still, in the hands of writer-director William Nicholson (Shadowlands, Gladiator), Annette Bening, and Bill Nighy this portrait of the end of a marriage is beautifully judged. Hope Gap is never showy or sentimental. No one here is blameless, and not one is entirely to blame either.

“…the characters’ ordinariness is what gives the film its emotional core”

With their 29th wedding anniversary around the corner, Grace (Bening) and Edward (Nighy) have reached an uncomfortable emotional impasse in their relationship. She wants him to be more engaged, but he doesn’t seem able to summon the effort. Her frustration with his lack of enthusiasm is as evident as his desperate desire for a quiet life. Something has to give between this couple. When their much-loved adult son Jamie (The Crown’s Josh O’Connor) arrives home for a rare visit, Edward delivers the shocking news that will profoundly affect each member of this family.

Based on Nicholson’s stage play, Hope Gap never feels overly theatrical. Intimate and well-observed, the characters’ ordinariness is what gives the film its emotional core. These feel like real people with messy lives, just like the rest of us. Bening is superb as Grace, a woman full of passion and fire, devoted to a husband she doesn’t connect with and oblivious to his unhappiness. Nighy too excels as someone who despite the apparent relief at finally being able to live the life he wants, feels guilty about the hurt his decision has created. How they work through this seismic change in their lives is universal, as is the acceptance that children cannot always understand their parents’ lives.

When you’re booking your cinema ticket you’ll notice the cinema has been divided into ‘bubbles’ of one or two in order to maintain social distancing. You won’t be able to book part of a bubble, but you can book more than one: for instance a group of four can book two bubbles of two.

If you can’t find a combination of seats that suits your group please get in touch and we’ll try to help, although capacity is very limited in all screenings. We’re working on a more flexible seating plan that we hope to be able to roll out very soon.