Hampstead parents guide

Hampstead Parent Guide

This is a tranquil tale of late-in-life love set in an eternally appealing English landscape.

Overall B

Netflix: An American widow joins forces with a man living on the land in Hampstead Heath as they fight off the developers who want to bulldoze his home.

Release date July 1, 2021

Violence B
Sexual Content B
Profanity C+
Substance Use B

Why is Hampstead rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Hampstead PG-13 for some suggestive material and language

Run Time: 102 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Emily (Diane Keaton) feels adrift in her own life. The widowed American lives in London, volunteering at a charity shop and lunching with her wealthy neighbors. But her late, unlamented husband left her in debt, and although her lecherous accountant insists that they can “help each other”, Emily just might have to sell her beloved flat.

Frankly, I have a hard time being sympathetic to anyone whose financial problems are so easily solved. The flat is gorgeous and situated across the street from Hampstead Heath, making it enormously valuable. Selling it and scaling back is the obvious solution. And the fact that it would separate her from her odious “friends” can only be considered a plus. Not only is the leader of the pack, Fiona (Lesley Manville), manipulative, she’s also pressuring Emily to get involved in a campaign to encourage real estate development on the heath. The catch is that the land is occupied by a squatter. And Fiona has fallen in love with him.

Donald (Brendan Gleeson) is a big, bluff Irishman, who has been living rough in a DIY shack on Hampstead Heath for years. After spending his life running from emotional complications, Donald retreated to the silence of the woods where he now spends his time reading books in Highgate Cemetery, fishing for dinner in the river, and growing his own vegetables. Sadly, his idyllic existence is rooted in valuable land and the developer will do anything to evict him. But neither Donald nor the “well-connected wolves in silk suits” have counted on Emily’s fighting spirit and determination…

Hampstead is a quiet, gentle story. There’s no hurry here, no explosive action scenes, not even a breathless moment of frenzied passion. This is the tale of two mature adults, each with their own baggage, who slowly fall in love with one another and try to figure out how to knit together two very different lives.

Given the movie’s sedate storyline, this is unlikely to be a hit with younger audiences, although negative content issues are far less frequent than in most chick flicks. This is a movie for adults who want to watch a relationship blossom amid breathtaking British backdrops. This film is a love letter to London, with shots of Hampstead Heath, quaint streets, and the British Museum that will have audiences scrolling through airline apps to buy tickets across the pond. Frankly, although I enjoyed the quiet love story, I really lost my heart to the landscapes. Time to find my passport and plan my next trip to England’s “green and pleasant land”.

Directed by Joel Hopkins. Starring Diane Keaton, Brendan Gleeson, James Norton. Running time: 102 minutes. Theatrical release July 1, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for Hampstead

Rating & Content Info

Why is Hampstead rated PG-13? Hampstead is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some suggestive material and language

Violence: A man throws a mug in a fit of temper. A man is attacked from behind and is later seen with an abrasion on his face. A man’s house is ransacked.
Sexual Content:   A young man and woman are briefly seen kissing from a distance. Brief moaning noises are heard coming from a man’s phone: pornography is implied. A woman refers to another woman as a whore. A man and woman kiss. A man kisses an unwilling woman. A couple are seen lying down together fully clothed; prior sexual activity is implied. A statue’s male genitals are briefly seen in a close up. Statues of nudes in a museum are briefly seen.
Profanity: There are 17 terms of deity, three scatological curses, a couple of minor swear words, and two anatomical terms. A substitute for the sexual expletive is used twice. There is very occasional vulgar language.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults occasionally drink alcohol with meals.

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Hampstead Parents' Guide

The movie is inspired by the real life story of Harry Hallowes. For more information click on this link.

The Guardian: Mystery of Hampstead heath squatter whose home inspired Hollywood romcom

Donald lives a very simple life, with few material possessions and fewer connections to society. Do you envy him or do you think his lifestyle looks unappealing? Do you ever want to simplify your own life?


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Diane Keaton has enjoyed an enduring career and has continued to play starring roles. In Poms, she plays Martha, a woman who has moved into a seniors’ complex for her remaining time. She decides to live out her abandoned dream of becoming a cheerleader and organizes a squad of fellow seniors with enthusiasm to spare. Keaton also stars in several racier romantic dramas, including Love, Weddings, and Other Disasters, Book Club, And So It Goes, and Something’s Gotta Give.