Anchor and Hope (Tierra Firme)
Carlos Marques-Marcet is an exciting Spanish filmmaker who made his name through his work with award-winning actor David Verdaguer and actress Natalia Tena, star of both Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. Their first collaboration – the long-distance rom-com 10,000km – was warmly received, with critics describing it as “honest”, “heartbreaking” and “intimate”. Their second film Anchor and Hope shares the same strong qualities and introduces yet another Westeros veteran, Oona Chaplin, to their world.
Chaplin and Tena play a couple in their mid-30s, Eva and Kat, living in London on a boat. Though the former wants to have a baby, the latter is very reluctant. Roger – Kat’s best friend from Barcelona – arrives in the city and is the proposed donor for Eva, the intended carrier. The film cuts to the bone in its depiction of honesty and openness in a relationship. It’s an extremely tough decision for the couple to make, both sides committed to their feelings. Naturally, the feature reaches an inevitable series of heavy emotional climaxes that genuinely tug at the audience’s heartstrings.
The pair’s co-operative story is reflected through several recurring motifs. Tunnels represent new episodes of their journey together. Waves, both rough and serene, chronicle their emotional outlooks during the multiple chapters (sections of the movie are bookended by titles for each individual act). Kat often runs along the canal when she’s faced with a major choice. There’s enough symbolism for young film students to analyse to enable them to see how a great piece of cinema is constructed through each micro-element of filmmaking.
The millennial audience are who the picture is squarely aimed at, as confirmed in an admirable monologue from Kat towards Eva’s mother Germaine (the legendary Geraldine Chaplin, Oona’s mother). Kat lays down all the facts about their circumstances in life compared to the previous generation, calling out the older woman for wanting to be a rebel but settling as a traditionalist, confident that she and Eva will raise a baby despite living on a boat without steady jobs.
This is only one of a handful of amazing monologues that Tena delivers. The three central cast members are nothing short of excellent and show a real flair for comedy as well as drama. Sometimes the well-observed humour induces belly-aching laughter, full of hilarious truths about the way we communicate and cope. Overall, Anchor and Hope is the best movie about the potential of parenthood since Juno.
Anchor and Hope (Tierra Firme) is released nationwide on 28th September 2018.
Watch the trailer for Anchor and Hope (Tierra Firme) here: