“Hope” (“Håp”)


Metacritic (7/10), Rotten Tomatoes (***+)

A crisis can change a relationship overnight, as is the case for a couple that has been together for a long time but has grown apart over the years. The ordeal offers them an opportunity for reconciliation and redemption, but, most of all, it affords the possibility for the rebirth of much-needed hope. So it is when a middle-aged mother and professional choreographer receives a diagnosis of a terminal brain tumor, prompting her and her theater producer partner to reevaluate the nature of their relationship. It’s a difficult process, full of revelations, the surfacing of brutal honesty and the rekindling of romantic feelings that have long been sidelined by other priorities. Norwegian writer-director Maria Sødahl’s third feature explores what this couple undergoes when faced with such trying circumstances, a story effectively brought to life by the film’s insightful screenplay and the fine performances of Andrea Bræin Hovig and Stellan Skarsgård. While the picture can be a heartbreaking watch, it also illustrates that, when there’s life, there’s hope, a sentiment aptly and succinctly reflected in this offering’s simple but appropriate title.