Paradise Hills (film)

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Paradise Hills
Paradise Hills.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlice Waddington
Produced by
  • Adrián Guerra
  • Núria Valls
Screenplay by
Story byAlice Waddington
Music byLucas Vidal
CinematographyJosu Inchaustegui
Edited byGuillermo de la Cal
  • Nostromo Pictures
  • Colina Paraiso AIE
Distributed bySamuel Goldwyn Films
Release date
  • January 26, 2019 (2019-01-26) (Sundance)
  • October 25, 2019 (2019-10-25) (United States)
Running time
135 minutes[1]
  • Spain
  • United States

Paradise Hills is a 2019 fantasy drama film directed by Alice Waddington in her directorial debut. It stars Emma Roberts, Danielle Macdonald, Awkwafina, Jeremy Irvine, Arnaud Valois, Eiza González, and Milla Jovovich.

It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2019. It is scheduled to be released on October 25, 2019, by Samuel Goldwyn Films.


Uma awakens on an island called Paradise which takes young women and teaches them to be proper. Led by the Duchess, the island provides emotional healing for those in need of it. However, behind the fairy tale like exterior, the island hides something sinister that threatens Uma and the other islanders.



In November 2017, Emma Roberts and Danielle Macdonald joined the cast of the film, with Alice Waddington directing from a screenplay by Nacho Vigalondo and Brian DeLeeuw, with Adrián Guerra and Núria Valls producing under their Nostromo Pictures banner.[2] In March 2018, Eiza González joined the cast of the film.[3] In April 2018, Milla Jovovich, Jeremy Irvine, and Awkwafina joined the cast of the film.[4]


Principal photography began in April 2018.[5]


It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2019.[6] Shortly after, Samuel Goldwyn Films acquired distribution rights to the film.[7] It is scheduled to be released on October 25, 2019, followed by video on demand on November 1, 2019.[8][9]


The film has received mixed reviews, with praise for its costumes, feminist approach and production design but criticism for the script. Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Words can't do justice to the truly lavish sets and costumes on display here which are so dazzling, intricate and bizarre they serve as a useful distraction from the awkward dialogue and plot holes."[10] Louisa Moore, writing for Screen Zealots, similarly stated "Sometimes a film can be a mess story-wise but is so well made and has something so interesting to say that it would be a crime not to applaud the effort."[11]. Carlos Aguilar of The Wrap wrote: "Challenging the narrative frameworks, the film turns obsolete archetypes into individuals with agency. (...) Princesses don’t need a knight to escape their prisons; they can blow them up themselves" but finds the conclusion "contrived" writing of it, "It’s a well-intentioned effort to imbue the fanciful tale with more socio-politically relevant drama, but it lacks impact because it must compete with a multitude of more concrete musings."[12]. It holds a 70% "Fresh" rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 23 reviews, with an average score of 6/10. The site's consensus reads: "Its ambitious reach occasionally exceeds its grasp, but Paradise Hills offers fans of thoughtful sci-fi a visually distinctive treat with timely themes".[13]


  1. ^ "Paradise Hills". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  2. ^ Hopewell, John (November 1, 2017). "AFM: Emma Roberts, Danielle Macdonald Topline 'Paradise Hills' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (March 14, 2018). "'Baby Driver's Eiza Gonzalez Set For 'Paradise Hills'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  4. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (April 2, 2018). "Milla Jovovich & More Join Emma Roberts In 'Paradise Hills'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Midkiff, Sarah (April 22, 2018). "Emma Roberts' New Sci-Fi Film Looks Like A Period Piece To Us". Refinery29. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Debruge, Peter (November 28, 2018). "Sundance Film Festival Unveils 2019 Features Lineup". Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (May 15, 2019). "Emma Roberts' Sci-Fi Thriller 'Paradise Hills' Sold to Samuel Goldwyn (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  8. ^ Gemmil, Allie (July 12, 2019). "The 'Paradise Hills' Trailer Shows Emma Roberts Trapped in a Deceptively Pretty Dystopia". Collider. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  9. ^ "Paradise Hills". Samuel Goldwyn Films. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  10. ^ Felperin, Leslie (January 31, 2019). "Paradise Hills: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ Moore, Louisa (January 31, 2019). "Paradise Hills". Screen Zealots.
  12. ^ Aguilar, Carlos (January 31, 2019). "Paradise Hills: Film Review". The Wrap.
  13. ^ "Paradise Hills". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 31, 2019.

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