Hope @ Desert Film Society
a film by Maria Sødahl
Staring Andrea Bræin Hovig and Stellan Skarsgård
2019 | Norway | 125min | Norwegian with English subs
Shortlisted - Norway’s Official Submission -Best International Feature 93rd Academy Awards .
Based on filmmaker’s, Maria Sødah, own experiences — Hope is the story of Anja and Tomas, longtime romantic partners whose large, blended family is upended when Anja receives a grave medical diagnosis.
ANJA (43) lives with TOMAS (59) in a large family of biological children and stepchildren. For a number of years the two adults have grown independent of each other, with creative jobs in parallel worlds. When Anja gets a terminal cancer diagnosis, their modern life breaks down and exposes neglected love. Alone with her grief and her fears, Anja realizes that she needs Tomas’ full help and support. It’s their only chance. How else will their children find the strength once she is gone, if their parents are unable to weather the storm together? Anja and Tomas are thrown into a crash course in mutual trust, and eventually a joint struggle, to deal with this unexpected and premature death. By getting to know each other anew, they unconsciously become the principal characters in a love story where they finally learn to truly love each other after a long life together.
“Uplifting and authentic...Andrea Braein Hovig and Stellan Skarsgard captivate."
—Frank J. Avella, Awards Daily
"(Filmmaker) Maria Sødahl... is an artist of quiet, disciplined observance.”
—Stephen Whitty, Screen International
"It's not easy to make a film about a life-threatening illness that is as rich and joyous as this one can be, perfectly balanced at other times by the very real stakes.”
—Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail
"Stunningly Acted! A modern family portrait deserving of its accolades.”
—Jay Weissberg, Variety
"Intensely moving...highly satisfying adult drama.”
—David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter