• Kim Hopkins (2012)
  • UK / Hun
  • 101 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

If you relocate Lauren Greenfield's eye-opening property-crash documentary The Queen of Versailles from Las Vegas to York, you get this fascinating, if occasionally circuitous profile of Helen Heraty. Director Kim Hopkins's film follows the mother of seven as she buys the historic Gray's Court with new husband John Edwards and then vows to turn it into a boutique hotel. Even with a fair wind, renovating 72 rooms would have been a herculean task. But, as the recession starts to bite, Heraty is soon in a battle with the banks that becomes something of a sideshow to her ongoing feud with neighbours, who keep parking on what she claims is private property. With Edwards working as an architect 150 miles away, Heraty is left to shoulder much of the burden alone. But such is her confrontational nature that she almost delights in making things more difficult for herself. Shot over five years and ending on a note of poignant positivity, this confirms that great British eccentrics continue to thrive, but you wouldn't necessarily want to live next door to them.

Plot Summary

Documentary tracing the efforts of Helen Heraty and her partner John Edwards to convert a historic mansion in York into a luxury hotel. As well as a crippling bank loan they face a battle with the National Trust over land rights - and then comes the banking crisis...

Cast and crew


Kim Hopkins

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Ball Park Film Distributors
Released 4 Oct 2013
Certificate E