BFI #LFF 2017: ANCHOR AND HOPE Film Review

Natalia Tena, David Verdaguer, and Oona Chaplin in Anchor and Hope (2017)

Smart and funny, ANCHOR AND HOPE is a bittersweet story about love, life and longing

Following the success of his first feature film 10,000 KM, Carlos Marques-Marcet returns to the big screen with ANCHOR AND HOPE, a bittersweet story about love, life and longing.

ANCHOR AND HOPE tells the story of lesbian couple Eva (Oona Chaplin) and Kat (Natalia Tena) whose relationship is put under strain when Kat’s close friend Roger (David Verdaguer) comes to stay. Space is tight on their London houseboat and Eva is not best pleased to have the gregarious and womanising Roger impinging on their space, until she realises he can help them have a baby. As the trio embark on a new journey of parenthood, their love and friendship for each other is put to the ultimate test.

Smart, funny and bittersweet, ANCHOR AND HOPE is a modern rom-com with a twist. Structured over four chapters, Marques-Marcet takes a story from the emotional core of modern love and presents it in a fresh way. The drama sees the trio travel through an intense physical and emotional landscape, as the love that binds them together also threatens to tear them apart.

Oona Chaplin delivers an impressive central performance as Eva, the 38-year old Salsa teacher desperate to have a child. Her chemistry with Natalia Tena as Kat is palpable and believable and the way in which she handles her emotions is simply heart-breaking. David Verdaguer equally shines as Roger, the serial womaniser who experiences a journey all of his own as he deals with the prospect of becoming a father. There is also a delightful cameo from Chaplin’s real-life mother Geraldine, who together with Verdaguer, provides the most humour.

But what makes ANCHOR AND HOPE truly special is Marques-Marcet and Jules Nurrish’s emotive and nuanced script, which takes the audience through a rollercoaster of emotions, from humour and happiness, to heartbreak and hope. The film’s superb soundtrack also deserves a mention, mixing vintage classics with modern standards.

All in all, a touching film about the things we are prepared to do in the name of love.

(4 / 5)

ANCHOR AND HOPE screens at the BFI London Film Festival on 10 October 2017

About Donna

Donna is the Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she is a digital marketing whizz, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage, The Public Reviews and ScreenRelish. Loves Shakespeare, prosecco and Formula 1