First-time actors Viv Albertine (former guitarist from punk band The Slits) and conceptual artist Liam Gillick play D and H, a couple of artists who work from home. However, the impending sale of their bolthole (by bland estate agent Tom Hiddlestone) throws their relationship into anxious freefall. Another simple yet effective exploration of human bonding from critically adored director Joanna Hogg.
Joanna Hogg's third feature is a close, gentle look inside a long relationship, which centres around a couple's decision to sell their home.
D (Viv Albertine) and H (Liam Gillick) are middle aged, middle class artists who live in a sleek, modern house in London. They both spend almost all their time in the house, working in their separate studies, and as the sale grows closer D contemplates the ways moving will alter their lives.
Slow moving and introspective, Exhibition boasts little action. Instead it's an exploration of D and H's relationship, with the pair going through stages of struggle and of unity over the course of the film.
Praise is due to its two stars, neither of whom had ever acted before. There's a subtlety in both that's rare in inexperienced actors, and they bring a gentle openess to D and H's marriage. There is honesty there; nothing ever feels artificial or strained.
Given the unfamiliarity of her central cast, it's a shame that Hogg felt the need to cast Tom Hiddleston, star of her previous two films, in the tiny role of 'Estate Agent'. The world created feels real, and the sudden presence of such a recognisable face is jarring and unnecessary.
Hogg's directorial style is not for everyone. The bulk of the film is a fly on the wall look at D and H in their house, quietly working on their own, D in preparing a new piece of performance art, and H on his laptop making rows of straight lines.
It's less a story and more the capturing of a moment; well done without having much to say.