Couple in a Hole

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Couple in a Hole is a 2015 film directed by Tom Geens and starring Kate Dickie and Paul Higgins. The lead actors play a man and woman who live together in the Pyrenees in what could be described as a shallow hole in the ground.[1] Dickie won best actress in a film at the 2016 British Academy Scotland Awards for her performance.

Production and release[edit]

It is the second feature film directed by Tom Geens, following Liar (Menteur) in 2009. Geens had been involved with experimental theatre in London in the 1990s, before becoming interested in filmmaking after seeing Thomas Vinterberg's film Festen. Making the film took him five years. Many of the film's creative decisions were influenced by financing, including the Scottish stars and the French setting. He had wanted to set the film somewhere wilder like the forests of Eastern Europe.[2]

The soundtrack is by British band Beak (stylized as BEAK>).[2]


It focuses on a Scottish couple, Karen (Dickie) and John (Higgins), who are initially shown living in a hole in the mountains, surviving off what they can find. When Karen is bitten by a spider, John heads to a nearby village and gets the help of Andre (Jerome Kircher). This increases tensions between Karen and John, leading to arguments and some information about why they are living in a hole: they are dealing with grief over the death of a child.[3]

Critical reaction[edit]

It received a generally positive reaction, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it an aggregate score of 100% from 15 reviews.[4] Jonathan Romney in the Observer rated it 3/5, praising the acting in particular, and calling it "a ruralist cross between British psychological realism and the wilder, Artaud-inflected fringes of French art cinema".[5] Time Out also gave it 3/5, calling it "strange", and saying how it created a mysterious atmosphere of unease rather than being interested in plot.[6] It also featured in The Guardian's top 50 films of 2016 (its UK release date).[7]

In contrast, Variety found it "exasperating and random", concluding that commercial prospects were "remote".[8]


  1. ^ "Couple in a Hole review - Scots go feral in France in poignant wilderness drama". The Guardian. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Director Tom Geens on Couple in a Hole". The Skinny. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  3. ^ Brady, Tara (2016). "Couple in a Hole review: brilliantly does exactly what it says on the tin". Irish Times. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Couple in a Hole". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  5. ^ Romney, Jonathan (10 April 2016). "Couple in a Hole". The Observer. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Couple in a Hole". Time Out. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  7. ^ "The 50 best films of 2016 in the UK: the full list". The Guardian. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Couple in a Hole". Variety. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2017.

External links[edit]