Keswick Film Club - Reviews - Anchor and Hope

Reviews - Anchor and Hope

Anchor and Hope

Reviewed By Vaughan Ames

Anchor and Hope
Anchor and Hope
I was expecting this to be a lightweight comedy drama about two lesbians, living happily on a canal boat in London until one of them decides she wants to have a baby: well that is what it was...except that it turned out to be thought-provoking too.

Co-written by the Spanish director Carlos Marques-Marcet and an English woman, Jules Nurrish, who lives and works in Hollywood, it was inspired by a Spanish political book 'Subversive Maternities' by María Llopis, which investigates 'new families' – babies born outside the 'normal' woman-man relationship.

The 'new family' here – woman-woman, Eva-Kat – instantly starts to suffer when they chose, Roger, the brother of Kat to be the surrogate father. To make it even more confusing (and normal!), Eva wants a child, Kat doesn't. This pushes the two women apart, especially as Roger is keen to be part of the family too, and is actually more supportive of Eva than Kat. All falls apart when Eva has a miscarriage and, realising that Kat is at least partially pleased, Eva decides to walk out...

I enjoyed this film more and more as it went on; it was pretty funny at the beginning but the problems of the relationships gradually took over and it certainly turned sad when Eva left. The problems did, however, seem very normal; whatever relationship we are in is never as simple as it looks – everyone has their own idea of what is going on. You could feel Kat pulling away as Eva and Roger became closer over the baby; you could feel Eva realising that Kat didn't really want the baby. Whilst the script was a bit naive (was this deliberate? To make it more lightweight and easier to understand?), the acting was superb, much of it done with just a lift of an eyebrow or a smile.

So could all this work out in real life? Aren't woman-man relationships hard enough without having woman-woman-man..? Well we are left to decide for ourselves here, as the film titles came up with Eva walking along by the boat watching (and being watched by) Kat and Roger; as no-one in the audience got up to leave, I guess they were all as intrigued as me. My vote goes for them making a go of it...but then again, I am a romantic!

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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

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