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Hope Gap and Spencer #FilmReviews #BriFri

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

Hope Gap and Spencer #FilmReviews #BriFriWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish - reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

Last week, I reviewed the audio version of 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard. Tina reviewed Stonehenge: The Story of a Sacred Landscape by Francis Pryor - she liked it, but would welcome a more engaging version of the history.

We watched two English films in the last week.

Hope Gap (2019) is about the break-up of a marriage and the aftermath for the husband, wife, and adult son.

Spencer (2021) follows Princess Diana through one Christmas with the royal family, after things had soured and she was struggling with her mental health.

Hope Gap and Spencer #FilmReviews #BriFri
Both of these films, obviously, are sad at their very core. Neither, however, were depressing to me. There was humor in Hope Gap. Spencer invited compassionate curiosity more than pity.

Watch Hope Gap for the stunning scenery. It was filmed on location in Seaford, Sussex with lots of scenes featuring the chalky white cliffs, the rocky beaches, and the sea. And watch for the amazing performances. Annette Bening ( American Beauty, The Kids Are All Right) plays the misunderstood and misunderstanding wife. Bill Nighy ( Love Actually, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) is the husband who can't make his wife happy and, late in the game, decides to make himself happy. Josh O'Connor ( The Crown) plays the son who attempts to navigate the situation without getting sucked in himself.

Watch Spencer for the convincing performance by Kristen Stewart as Diana. I was especially intrigued by the way that she moved. Stewart has Oscar buzz for this role. I was delighted to get a glimpse of the royal family at Christmas, especially the many scenes about food. I also enjoyed the absurdist elements of the film, particularly the appearances of Anne Boleyn.

Have you seen these films? What did you think?

Hope Gap and Spencer #FilmReviews #BriFri

About Joy Weese Moll

a librarian writing about books

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