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Movie Reviews

Hope Springs




Released: 14th September 2012

Director: David Frankel

Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Merryl Streep, Steve Carell

Certificate: 12A

Reviewer: Luke Walkley

Thirty years of love and marriage has slowly declined to the point where Kay (Merryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) sleep in separate bedrooms and rarely interact with one another, let alone in any intimate way. Stressed and upset, Kay seeks professional marriage help from Dr Bernard Feld (Steve Carrell) and forces husband Arnold to attend if he still loves her.

Hope Springs comes across as a typical rom-com with a twist in the fact it seems targeted for the older generation. However, those expecting this and avoiding it for that reason are missing out. Hope Springs is an emotive and while it is not without its comedic moments, it is really a study of how love changes with time and, if two people are meant to be together, they will do anything to keep it that way.

Tommy Lee Jones appeared a long way from his comfort zone in his casting for Hope Springs, with a filmography including a number of action based roles, it’s too easy to forget that TLJ is an extremely talented actor. Hope Springs really threw up a question mark over the acting talents of it’s two older leads and they both answered with performances, that while unusual in topic at times, explore the feelings and moments that a married couple experience, together and alone.

Streep’s performance as Kay is heartwarming, genuinely distraught as she sees her marriage crumbling it can be a difficult watch at times as movie viewers can easily associate it with members of their own family. While I mentioned the comedic moments, some of which I expected to come from Carell, it is Kay and Arnolds awkwardness with discussing their sex lives that provide the largest laugh.

The film does cover a range of emotions, but its downfall comes in its ability to build the audience up to an understated crescendo. The pace of the film is deathly slow at times and just when it appears to pick up a little pace, the story turns and we’re back at square one. If it wasn’t for the performance of the leads, this could go down as a easily forgettable film. Carell’s role could of been a nice inclusion, though it’s almost as if he has tried to refrain from any jokes in order to try his hand at a more serious role, his part could have been better played by a genuinely serious actor.

While Hope Springs won’t win any awards, it’s a nice little alternative to the other films currently in cinema. Two excellent performances from its experienced lead actors are the real talking point of the film in which the story and pacing issues are too obvious to ignore.


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