Sunday 16 September 2012

New film: 'HOPE SPRINGS'

Just as for yesterday's film, I approached this one favourably disposed. But unlike Woody Allen, Meryl Streep has never disappointed me - and I've seen every film of hers which has been granted a cinema release. This one continues the line.
It said in a review I read this morning that her acting was 'mannered'. I disagree. There are certainly moments when full-on high emotion is required, though she is still always credible to me. Outside these occasions her acting is as highly and subtly nuanced as it ever is.

Very much a three-person film, which would work admirably as a stage play, this is what we used to dismiss, pejoratively, as a "lady's film", meaning that there are no big-set action sequences and that the story is, essentially, grounded on a story of the 'love emotion'. There's lots of conversation, and the entire 'plot-line' has a trajectory where one can predict the destination, though not without a number of delights and laughs on the way.
     Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, are in a congealedly-cold 31-year marriage which she wants to re-ignite with a spark through the services of marriage counsellor Steve Carell. And such is the entire denouement. 
Both Jones and Carell are first-rate - the former, playing an unwillingly dragged-along sour-puss, I don't think I've ever seen in any domestic situation film before.
    My only real carp is that there are a few shocking lapses of continuity, though I have seen a lot worse. I think it's one of the negatives of seeing a lot of films. One becomes more observant of such errors, wondering why none of the team took the trouble to notice it and have the scene re-shot - or was that just too much trouble? Or were they hoping that no one would pick up on it? However within the totality of things it's not worth dwelling on.

   For close to a couple of hours of pleasing entertainment, I score 'Hope Springs'.........7/10.


  1. I expected a comedy about an aging couple fumbling with sex and intimacy. I got a lot more. A movie with with great chracter acting and some funny and charming moments. Streep and Jones were very well matched.

    1. Your expectation is quite widespread, Paul. I would have had the same idea if I hadn't read otherwise beforehand.
      Glad that we basically agree. It was a pleasant couple of hours spent. While not a film to linger long in the (my) memory, that's not what it had aspired to be.

  2. thanks to you I get to hear about movies of which I have never heard.

    1. Thank you, Sir, but it could be because our release dates may be different to yours, though I'd be surprised if we get American films before you do. An oddity is that sometimes British films are released earlier in the USA than over here, which doesn't make much sense to me.