All too often, the British film industry finds itself mired in cliché and nostalgia. There seems to be an unrelenting thirst for ropey gangster movies, dreadful sub-Inbetweeners comedies starring people who are old enough to know better and period pieces aimed squarely at the ‘grey pound’. We’ve thankfully seen some flickers of life of late with the likes of The Levelling, Dark River, God’s Own Country, Daphne and Apostasy. Anchor and Hope, Carlos Marques-Marcet’s new Spanish-English film, is another impressive entrant into that category.
Eva (Oona Chaplin) and Kat (Natalia Tena) are a couple in their mid-thirties who live on a houseboat in London and generally don’t take life too seriously. That all changes when Eva decides that she wants to start a family. Apart from the obvious problems having a child will entail, Kat doesn’t want to lose their bohemian lifestyle and freedoms. When Kat’s best friend Roger (David Verdaguer) visits from Barcelona, a boozy night leads them to take the decision to have a baby together.
Whilst Anchor and Hope travels several familiar paths, it does so in a way which feels fresh and exciting. The canal proves to be an exquisite backdrop for Dagmar Weaver-Madsen beautiful cinematography whilst the three leads all impress. The joy of Anchor and Hope is that is doesn’t play up to its themes or descend into melodrama or cliché. Instead, it simply allows a modern story to be told through the interactions and relationships of its protagonists.
Anchor and Hope is out in cinemas from 28 September.