An affectionate reverie about war, childhood, and British stoicism, John Boorman's Hope and Glory is the veteran filmmaker's recollection of the bombing of London during World War II. Set on the British home front during the early days of the war, this episodic movie shows the blitz through the eyes of seven-year-old Billy Rohan (Sebastian Rice Edwards). At the war's outset, Billy finds himself alone in a house full of women, as all the men are called off to join the war effort. With wide-eyed wonder and an outsized imagination, Billy sees the war as a grand diversion, an extension of his world of knights, tin soldiers, and war games. As bombs fall and houses burn, Billy's mother (Sarah Miles) struggles to keep the family together in her husband's absence. Even as Billy seeks to escape the harem of aunts and sisters, Dawn (Sammi Davis), his older sister, falls for a Canadian soldier who gets her pregnant. After the Rohans' home catches fire (not, ironically, as the result of a bomb blast, but from a domestic accident), the family is forced to move in with Billy's cantankerous grandfather in the countryside, where they spend the rest of their summer and enjoy an unusual idyll amid the raging war. Nominated in 1987 for a Best Picture Academy Award, Hope and Glory proved to be another high point in the career of the remarkably protean Boorman.
~ Elbert Ventura, All Movie Guide