At its heart a tale of acceptance and second chances, Hampstead is easy-to-watch flick for anyone who likes a bit of romance.

Emily (Diane Keaton) is an American widow living in the London suburb of Hampstead. Desperately unsatisfied with her life, she goes about her daily routine as usual until she meets Donald (Brendan Gleeson) a man living wild on the Heath. The two form an unlikely alliance when they join forces against a group of greedy local property developers, keen to make an extra buck wherever they can even if that means destroying the place that Donald calls home. The film is inspired by the real life story of Harry Hallowes, a recluse who claimed squatter’s rights to a patch of land in Hampstead Heath in London where he was living and legally challenged a group of property developers who attempted to evict him.

Director Joel Hopkins makes the most of the picturesque English countryside. The luscious green open spaces and old cobblestone streets are the perfect showcase for the blossoming relationship between two characters who seem so inherently different. Brendan Gleeson and Diane Keaton put in effortless performances, using gentle humour to great effect as their friendship develops into a charming romance.

Both Keaton and Gleeson are undeniably likeable as Emily and Donald, but at times the chemistry between them lacks any real spark. There are a few questions of authenticity, especially given that this is based on a true story, as Donald often doesn’t look like your typical hermit. Decked in his exceptionally clean and hole free jumpers, it’s a shame that the authenticity of the story couldn’t have carried over into the visual aspects of the film.

Questionable costumes aside, Hampstead features some solid performances from its seasoned stars, but doesn’t quite reach its potential. However, the film’s overall message, that love hits you unexpectedly and at any age, will leave you feeling sentimental, hopeful and cheered by its charm.

Hampstead is on general release from August 17.

Join Our Community
You May Also Like

Related Posts

Revelation announces Couched Online Film Festival for July, featuring international film premieres

To tide us by until this year’s festival can take place later in the year, Revelation Film Festival have announced an online film festival, taking place in July. Couched will run online via Eventive from 9-19 July, presenting a selection of features and documentaries from across the world, including a number of film premieres. Featuring […]

Ten awesome movies in cinemas this weekend: watch the trailers here

With movies being re-released, delayed and postponed indefinitely, it’s rare to find new releases these days. Unhinged, starring Russell Crowe, is brand new to our screens and is a must-see this weekend. Alternatively, if dark thrillers aren’t your thing, enjoy an uplifting flick such as Romantic Road or Dolittle. If you’re in the mood for […]

WA Comedian of the Year to host live-streamed comedy night at The Laugh Resort

After virtually keeping the audience in fits during their launch event held May 20, The Laugh Resort, Perth’s original live comedy club, have announced the next line-up of acts for June 3. The event kicks off at 8pm on Zoom and tickets are only $10 to $15. The recordings won’t be available after the show, […]