“ANCHOR AND HOPE”— A Bittersweet Story About Love, Life and Longing


A Bittersweet Story About Love, Life and Longing

Amos Lassen

“Anchor and Hope” is 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. The women live on a houseboat so space is tight. Eva is not best pleased to have the Roger impinging on their space, until she realizes that 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 test.

The film is structured over four chapters with a look at modern love in a fresh way, We watch the three characters as they travel an intense physical and emotional landscape, as the love that binds them together also threatens to tear them apart.

Eva is a 38-year old Salsa teacher desperate to have a child. Her chemistry Kat is totally believable and the way in which she handles her emotions is heart breaking at times. Roger is a serial womanizer who is on a journey of his own as he deals with the prospect of becoming a father. There is also a cameo from Chaplin’s real-life mother Geraldine, who together with Verdaguer, are responsible for the film’s humor.

But what makes this a special film is the screenplay by Carlos Marques-Marcet (who also directed the film) and Jules Nurrish. It takes us on a journey filled with emotions set against a wonderful soundtrack that mixes classics with modern standards. This is a touching film about the things we are prepared to do in the name of love.

The film avoids sweet romanticism as it raises the question not only of what forms today’s families can take, as well as how complicated it is to make decisions when there are two or more people involved. They women talk about having a child without thinking that a decision like this has inescapable consequences for the future, will have major ramifications for these women, because each one has a totally different outlook on life. Family as an institution is questioned here and it is so done without championing of any kind of alternative, free of prejudice and clichés. The director seems to be telling us that the decision to procreate should not be a dramatic one, and that there are no clear answers to the impulses that lie behind parenthood. He doesn’t dramatize the conflict and we see the relationships between his leading trio in a playful atmosphere. “Anchor and Hope” is a small but a very special film.

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