Hollow Reed (1996)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Hollow Reed Photos

Movie Info

Violence and anti-gay prejudice combine to make a heated custody battle all the more ugly in this tense domestic drama. Hannah Wyatt (Joely Richardson) is a single mother who lives with her nine-year-old son Oliver (Sam Bould) and her boyfriend Frank Donally (Jason Flemyng). Hannah was married to Martyn (Martin Donovan), but their relationship ended bitterly when Martyn chose to finally acknowledge his homosexuality and left her to move in with his lover Tom Dixon (Ian Hart). Oliver has suffered several unexplained injuries in recent months, and one day Hannah comes home from work to discover that Frank has severely wounded Oliver's hand when he lashed out with violence over a minor bit of misbehavior. Hannah kicks Frank out of the house, but when he returns -- tearfully begging forgiveness and claiming he'll never hurt Oliver again -- she takes him back. Martyn learns of Frank's violence against his son, and she sues to have full custody of Oliver for the sake of the child's safety. However, Hannah is terrified of both losing her son and being left without a man in her life; she and Frank join forces in court against Martyn, using his homosexuality as their chief weapon against him and trying to poison Oliver's mind with homophobia against his father. Hollow Reed's soundtrack features selections recorded for the film by Elvis Costello, Annie Lennox, and Paul Weller.
R (Rated R for violence including child abuse, a strong sex scene and language.)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Channel 4


Martin Donovan
as Martyn Wyatt
Joely Richardson
as Hannah Wyatt
Ian Hart
as Tom Dixon
Jason Flemyng
as Frank Donally
Sam Bould
as Oliver Wyatt
Shaheen Khan
as Doctor Razmu
Kelly Hunter
as Jamie's Mother
Tim Crouch
as Site Foreman
Jane Hill
as Record Shop Girl
Glen Hammond
as Unemployed Youth
Simon Chandler
as Mr. Bugler
Dilys Hamlett
as School Nurse
Andy Rashleigh
as Doctor Ian Slater
David Calder
as Martyn's Lawyer
Maeve Murphy
as Sgt. Curtis
Victoria Scarborough
as Court Welfare Officer
Roger Lloyd-Pack
as Hannah's Lawyer
Kenneth Anderson
as High Court Welfare Officer
Annette Badland
as Martyn's Barrister
Douglas Hodge
as Hannah's Barrister
Edward Hardwicke
as High Court Judge
Roger Lloyd Pack
as Hannah's Lawyer
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Critic Reviews for Hollow Reed

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 22, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Hollow Reed

I liked this movie. Im glad that the father won custody of his son. I hated that the mother never believe her son.

Ms. Southern Lady
Ms. Southern Lady

It was alright. I really, really hated Frank and Ollie's mom. She was absolutely disgusting. If she KNEW her kid was being abused by her boyfriend, why the heck wouldn't she leave him until AFTER the court gave custody to his father? Awful. I also hated her lawyer. He was disgusting. Ollie's dad's orientation was irrelevant to his ability to care for him - he was just a homophobe who brought his prejudice to the case and purported it as fact. Disgusting. I think the movie would've been better if it didn't end so abruptly. Or maybe if it spent more time exploring Ollie's emotions - obviously he doesn't want to be in an abusive situation, but he said he still wanted to live with his mom, but also with his dad. So is he happier with his dad now that he's with him (yet he has sole custody so he is not also with his mom)? It's kind of unclear.

Allegra F
Allegra F

A decent film made of quite a good screenplay for 1990s, might be even for today. Simple black & white only happens in fairy tales. A hard-pushing biological father, a love-blinding mother, an irritable step-father & an 'innocent' son. The queer is the only positive figure in the whole film: Hallelujah!


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