Film Review: “Isle of Hope”

Film Review: “Isle of Hope”

By Rachel Galvin

Anyone who is in the “Sandwich Generation” will know the stress of caring for ailing parents and children at the same time. This anxiety can lead to conflicts with interpersonal relationships and problems learning to cope. This topic is explored in the new movie “Isle of Hope,” directed by South Florida based director Damian Romay and his father and producer Omar, who encouraged him to make it. The film was adapted from an Argentinian stage play “Dias Contados” by Oscar Martinez and modified to add a third act. It opens Feb. 23 in theaters throughout the state.

The movie follows the story of Victoria Crawford (Mary Stuart Masterson), a teacher who is harsh with her students, feels betrayed by her mother (Diane Ladd), fights with her brother (Sam Robards) and is struggling to hold on to her teenage daughter (Jessica Lynn Wallace), who would rather spend time with her dad (played by Andrew McCarthy), who now lives with another woman. 

All of her conflicts come to a head at a time when Victoria’s mother suddenly has a stroke leaving her with amnesia. She can’t remember anything for the past 15 years. This forces her to reunite with her ex-husband and forces her to try to make nice with her brother. But her biggest struggle is coping with her mother herself. At the same time, her daughter wants to get away from her so much that she leaves the country on a trip. During the process of handling all of the above, Victoria learns things she did not know about what was happening in her life and in the lives of others. This crisis overall really knocks her off balance and makes her struggle to regain her footing and find peace with her past, and figure out how to deal with her present in a new way.

Although all of the actors did well in their roles, Diane Ladd’s performance was brilliant. Her work is definitely award-worthy.

The relationship between mothers and daughters in this film really brings the most poignant moments. Watching the film, you feel the angst of the characters, but it is not all stress laden. There are plenty of lighthearted moments and times for shedding a tear or two as well. It really is a well-rounded story that gets better as it goes along.

Romay said, “Working and collaborating with such an incredible cast was truly an amazing experience. My hope is that people will enjoy the film and that mothers and daughters, fathers and sons will see the film together.”

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