Hope Gap

Annette Bening and Bill Nighy

About as unfashionable as they come, Hope Gap has two and a half great actors in it and tells a tender story with great compassion. It’s an adaptation of writer/director William Nicholson’s play The Retreat from Moscow and though Nicholson throws in scenes set on the cliffs and by the sea as often as possible, in an attempt to cinematify things, this is obviously a chamber piece that doesn’t in any case need them. Instead it gets its power from the gulf between what is said and what is unsaid, and the interaction of the two. The two great actors are Annette Bening and Bill Nighy, playing a long married couple called Grace … Read more

God’s Own Country

Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu

  It was reading about his highly anticipated 2020 film Ammonite that jolted me into the realisation that I’d never got around to seeing God’s Own Country, former actor Francis Lee’s 2017 debut as writer/director. It was on the must-watch list and then another load of must-watches came along and it got lost. Thanks to the imminence of Ammonite, amends have now been made. “God’s own county” (not “country”) is what proud Yorshirefolk call England’s biggest (and once richest) administrative region, a sentiment not shared by the protagonist of this tale of big emotions played out on small canvases. Johnny (Josh O’Connor) hates Yorkshire, he hates the family farm he works on with … Read more