Starring the ever wonderful Jim Broadbent and Penelope Wilton, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is based on a best-selling 2012 novel by Rachel Joyce. It tells the (yes, unlikely) story of a 60 year old man, Harold, who gets a letter from an old friend (Queenie) who he hasn't seen for years. Queenie is dying in a hospice in Berwick on Tweed, and Harold writes her a letter and sets off to post it. But then he keeps on walking and walking - somehow telling himself that as long as he keeps walking in order to give her the letter in person, Queenie won’t die. The problem is that the Frys live in Devon, which is about 450 miles from Berwick.

Walton plays Harold’s wife Maureen, and it seems that things are not all ok in the Fry household. She cannot understand what he is doing and why - but then it is not clear that Harold can explain his compulsion either. The film focuses on his mishaps and adventures as well as the attention he gathers on the way, offering a snapshot of English society in all its shades, but the journey and their separation also allows Harold and Maureen to confront some difficult aspects of their own family history.

In the Guardian, Wendy Ide gave it a four star review: “Initially, this autumn-years road movie, which was adapted by Rachel Joyce from her own novel, chugs along amiably, a cosily familiar tale of British eccentricity. But as a blistered and weathered Harold limps into the film’s heart-sore third act, director Hettie Macdonald, whose TV work includes Normal People, shifts up an emotional gear or two. This politely unassuming little film builds into a wrenching examination of grief, guilt and eventual closure.”