Anja (Andrea Bræin Hovig) and Tomas (Stellan Skarsgård), the principals in Maria Sødahl's moving Hope, adore their careers in dance and theatre. Their blended family structure is complicated, with two young sons and an adolescent daughter from their own union and two adult children from Tomas' marriage. Returning home after the triumphant international debut of a ballet she directed, Anja finds Tomas is working late, a galling abnegation of responsibility in her eyes. Then her physician gives her a dire diagnosis: she has an inoperable tumor that may be connected to the lung cancer for which she was successfully treated the previous year. A long-time superwoman who's been compensating for an often absent, workaholic husband, Anja soldiers on, refusing to tell anyone but Tomas what's happening - and becoming increasingly exasperated by her children's blissful ignorance, while only intermittently buoyed by Tomas' support. The next few days will test the strength of their relationship ...Written by
Toronto International Film Festival
Official submission of Norway for the 'Best International Feature Film' category of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021. See more »
A true love unveiled
At the centre of the film is a middle-aged couple, Anja (Andrea Bræin Hovig) and Tomas (Stellan Skarsgård) who had lived together in 20 years. The crisis develops when a mortal brain metastasis is detected in Anja. Up to this point, they got children together but both had lived independent lives on their own. Anja had been a successful ballet dancer and had felt she had taken the responsibility for the children herself while Tomas' energy had been occupied by his role as a leader of a theatre. Several times Anja had been on her way to separate from Tomas while Tomas said that he always wanted to stay with Anja. Thus, their relationship did not seem to have been much alive. When Anja got her death sentence the core of their relationship was unveiled. For Tomas that was apparent not in is words but in his gaze on Anja. Neither was Tomas grief expressed in words but instead in his gaze on Anja. So their deep love was apparent. Due to the excellent performance of Anja and Tomas, I as a viewer I was able to sense their true relationship.
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