|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Genre:||Romance, Drama, Comedy|
|Production country:||Großbritannien 2017|
|Running time:||Approx. 103 min|
Once she had such a beautiful life, but it is now in ruins. Her wonderful London apartment just across the road from picturesque Hampstead Park is in increasing need of renovation, but American Emily (Diane Keaton) can't pay for the damage, having been left nothing but a mountain of debt by her late husband - and many painful memories of his infidelity. More and more she retreats into her little nest, especially shying away from contact with her neighbor Fiona (Lesley Manville) and her friends. But when one day she helps a stranger (Brendan Gleeson) who is attacked by a group of thugs in the park, her life changes abruptly. For Emily is fascinated by the oddball Donald, who has lived in a small hidden cabin in the park for many years. But now his idyllic home is threatened with the end, because it is to make way for a luxury building project, for which Fiona is also strongly in favour. At last, Emily has a new goal in life - she wants to help Donald stay at Hampstead Park - and near her.
After all, Diane Keaton has actually always seemed to be into the role of hysterical over-(grand)mother in recent years, Hampstead Park happily sees a much more restrained performance from the Oscar-winner. And that's pleasing in that in her last few films, you've always felt that Keaton is clearly underselling herself and playing the same role over and over again. Granted, Emily is not completely different from the other women she has played recently. But it just lacks that shrill hysteria that tugged at viewers' nerves so much in works like The Big Wedding, From Woman to Woman or Every Year Again - Christmas with the Coopers.
Side a wonderfully grumpy Brendan Gleeson and spiced with a fair amount of British humor, Diane Keaton is thus able to convince in a charming romance that has some truly beautiful moments and literally dreamlike images to offer. The simple, but somehow very idyllic empire that Donald has built for himself, certainly leads to (admittedly idealized) dropout dreams for many. Director Joel Hopkins (Like in the old times) relies on an overall rather decent staging, which largely avoids slapstick or much speed. This adds an extra sympathetic touch to the very nice story.
Despite this, it must also be said that the film always walks on safe paths. There are no surprises whatsoever and all conflicts are ultimately resolved very simply. That may do little to change the fact that Hampstead Park provides good entertainment for its target audience. However, it doesn't offer more than shallow sprinkling. If you don't expect more and just want to see a nice story with a good feel-good factor, here's a clear: worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp