Hope, the review: Life, love and disease

Hope: Stellan Skarsgård, Andrea Bræin Hovig in a picture

This is my story as I remember it“. Hope, the film by Norwegian director Maria Sødahl, in exit at Cinema on May 12 with Movies Inspired. In Hope’s review we will tell you about a very intense story, that of the discovery of a disease. But it is a story that contains others. Because illness is one of those events that trigger reflections, balances, which bring out the true nature of people, relationships, relationships. This is why Hope is a personal story, but one that is capable of speaking to everyone. Full of humanity, thanks to a script that is attentive to central issues, but also to details and unexpected implications. A sober and empathic direction and great interpretations make it an impeccable film.

News on Christmas Eve

Hope Andrea Stellan Motlys Photo Manuel Claro

Hope: Stellan Skarsgård, Andrea Bræin Hovig in a sequence from the film

Anja (Andrea Bræin Hovig) is a theater director. She lives Tomas (Stellan Skarsgård), her partner, with their three children, and the three children he had from his previous marriage. On Christmas Eve, Anja is diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had surgery on her lungs the year before, but she has metastasis, edema, in the brain. There is no cure, but the tumor is in a position where it can be operated on. “It’s as if I’ve always known this“Anja immediately says, as if she has a premonition.

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A painful and cathartic story

Hope Copyright Motlys Photo By Manuel Claro 1

Hope: Andrea Bræin Hovig, Stellan Skarsgård in a moment of the film

Hope seems like the story of an odyssey, the journey into the discovery of a disease and all that follows. It is actually much more. It is a painful story, but also cathartic, a story that, as is typical of Scandinavian cinema, is told in a sober, dry, lucid way, never in an excessively dramatic way. Yet, or perhaps for this reason, it manages to be very intense. Maria Sødahl, who here tells her story about her, is very good at staging life as she flows, with its pains, joys, and even her dead times. Everything is told in an extremely natural and fluent way, and everything is extremely credible, and plausible.

Hope Andrea Braein Hovig Motlys Photo Manuel Claro

Hope: Andrea Bræin Hovig in an image

The lights of Christmas

Hope Copyright Motlys Photo By Manuel Claro

Hope: a sequence from the film

Alongside this sobriety of vision – which, as mentioned, however, does not affect the empathy with the protagonists – there is a warmth and a brightness in the images that immediately characterize the film. We are during the Christmas holidays, and the lights of the holidays envelop a painful story of a slightly enchanted, golden, somehow warm atmosphere. It is as if the whole outline, somehow tried to soothe the sorrow we feel, once we empathize with Anja. And if you wanted to explain to us that, despite the pain of the disease, Anja is still happy. But what tries to warm us up is obviously hope, which, as the title clearly announces, is the theme of the film. Just as certain scenes of family affection warm us. The fact that the story is set during the holidays makes everything more alienating, more mocking and at the same time sweeter. The story is marked by the passing of days (with the writing superimposed on the black screen) from December 23 to January 2, the day of Anja’s operation. Like a novel, Hope it is divided into chapters, but the passing of days is also the inexorable passage of time. Which, in this case, it really is inexorable, and adds tension to the story.

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Life flows in front of you like in a Power Point

Hope Danie Andreag Alfred Motlys Photo Manuel Claro

Hope: Andrea Bræin Hovigin a scene from the film

Hope it is a story full of very human and understandable reactions, which make it vivid and real. How, and when, to tell the children. Try not to be hospitalized, after having been in hospital the previous Christmas, so as not to make your children hate this holiday definitively. Worry that, in the event of a disappearance, your partner will find someone who loves him and takes care of him. Try to make yourself beautiful for the party, to keep evil hidden. Simply wish Merry Christmas, And then make love like it’s the last time, and maybe for real, not just a saying. And the life that flows in front of you, in chronological order, as in a sort of Power Point.

Hope Stellan Andrea Motlys Photo Manuel Claro

Hope: Stellan Skarsgård, Andrea Bræin Hovig in a scene from the film

A great script

Hope Copyright Motlys Photo By Manuel Claro 5

Hope: Andrea Bræin Hovig during a scene

But Hope it turns out to be a surprising film when, halfway through, we understand that it is not just a film about the disease but it is much more. Illness is one of those key events that really bring out who we are. And, together with this, the unspoken, the secrets, the confessions. Thus, Anja and Tomas open up to each other, they tell each other what they have to say, because the risk is that they won’t be able to do it anymore. Hope it is a film about life and love, about relationships, it is a personal and at the same time universal work. At the base there is a great script, played a lot on the nuances. And that helps create a flawless film.

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Andrea Bræin Hovig and Stellan Skarsgård, perfect protagonists

Hope Stellan Skarsgaard Motlys Photo Manuel Claro 4

Hope: Stellan Skarsgård during a scene from the film

Anja has the expressive face of Andrea Bræin Hovig, a face by nature sweet, and with a sadness that perhaps existed before the bad news. She is an elegant face, a sober beauty, an archaic smile and a bit bittersweet. And then her eyes. Veiled with sadness, of course, but also alive, present, awake. curious. Next to her, a giant like Stellan Skarsgård, in one of those roles that he knows how to do perfectly, a little gruff, a little sweet. The actor brings solidity and safety to the film. it is a perfect shoulder that allows Andrea Bræin Hovig to give his best, to shine. Just as his Tomas is a shoulder to cry on, but also a pillar to support himself on, for Anja. If we believe so much in these characters, in this story, it is also thanks to them.

Conclusions

In Hope’s review we told you about a film that is a personal story, but that is capable of speaking to everyone; a film full of humanity, thanks to a script that is attentive to central issues, but also to details and unexpected implications. A sober and empathic direction and great interpretations make it an impeccable film.

Because we like it

  • A very rich screenplay, which, starting from the disease, explores the human relationships between the characters.
  • The interpretations of the protagonists, extremely empathetic and credible.
  • A direction that makes the story sober and dry.

What’s wrong

  • It is certainly not a defect, but the theme at the center of the film is very harsh, and could “alienate” someone.

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