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Norway · 2019
2h 10m
Director Maria Sødahl
Starring Andrea Bræin Hovig, Stellan Skarsgård, Elli Rhiannon Müller Osbourne, Johannes Joner
Genre Drama

Anja lives with Tomas in a large blended family of biological children and stepchildren, but they have grown apart. When Anja is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, they realize that they can only cope together in this stunningly raw Norwegian drama.

Stream Hope

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What are critics saying?


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

Director Maria Sodahl tracks the couple’s story over the course of only one Christmas break, but the film is more a chronicle of one family’s entire existence. Skarsgard, by the way, is typically excellent – it’s just that he mostly, and graciously, cedes the screen to Hovig, who is given much more to do and handles it with aplomb.


San Francisco Chronicle by Bob Strauss

It’s an ode to the satisfactions of facing life head-on with whatever time you have left. And writer-director Maria Sødahl semi-autobiographical drama earns every iota of its hard-won uplift.


The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

It's the integrity of the performances by Hovig and Skarsgard that keeps the classy drama so engrossing, with the director making neither character entirely saint or sinner but giving them both infinite shadings in between.


The Film Stage by Jared Mobarak

Unconcerned with happy or sad endings (or endings at all beyond the desire for one to be shared and enjoyed to its fullest), [Sødahl] focuses instead on the unbridled emotions that swirl within us on the difficult journeys through tragedy. Nothing is out of bounds.


Slashfilm by Jason Gorber

Thanks to some fantastic performances and a patient, well-crafted script, this is a film that should find international audiences interested in some truly adult storytelling. There’s enough originality and sophistication here that an English language redux wouldn’t be unheard of, making one hope that any translation maintains the craft and elegance of Sødahl’s presentation.


Variety by Jay Weissberg

Sødahl’s skill at making gesture and its absence count in the most subtle ways is an essential component in our investment with these protagonists, thanks to the superbly understated camerawork of Lars von Trier’s regular DP Manuel Alberto Claro.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

Bræin Hovig and Skarsgård take us into their confidence as they make these choices, decisions, promises and compromises. The wonder of Hope is how much of that they do without dialogue, just with a look, a gesture, a silent scream of despair or teeth grinding in resignation.


Screen Daily by Stephen Whitty

A warm gathering of Scandinavian artists, with Sweden’s Skarsgård and Norway’s Hovig both excelling under Norwegian director Maria Sødahl’s attentive care.

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