Movie Night: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (12A)

Harold is an ordinary man who has passed through life, living on the side lines, until he goes to post a letter one day…and just keeps walking.

Harold Fry, 65, has cut the lawn outside his home at Kingsbridge on the south coast of Devon when he receives a letter. A colleague of twenty years ago, Queenie Hennessy, has cancer and is in a hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed. The doctors say there is nothing more that can be done for her.

He writes her a feeble and brief note and goes to post it, has second thoughts, and walks to the next post box, and the next. He phones the hospice from a call box and leaves a message. He is coming and she should wait, stay alive while he makes the journey.

A girl at the petrol filling station where he stops for a snack says something that acts as a catalyst for his nascent project. He tells her he is on foot, posting a letter to someone with cancer. ‘If you have faith you can do anything’[4] she replies, but quickly disclaims any religious reference.

The Spectator review:
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is an excellent adaptation of Rachel Joyce’s bestselling novel (2012) about a retired old fella who traverses England on foot in the belief he can save a friend dying of cancer. It could have been twee or sentimental (that was the fear) but instead it is spare and restrained and while there are occasional jarring moments it is still wonderfully tender and full of feeling. I cried, possibly twice, but I don‘t think it was three times, whatever anyone might say.

The Standard review:
This gut-wrenching British drama is about the incredible journey made by a respectable retiree. As the titular Harold, 73-year-old Jim Broadbent goes wild in the country (he dispenses with his debit cards, washes himself in streams, crashes on bales of hay). As he does so, every millimetre of the actor proves eloquent”.

Event Details