Saturday, February 13, 2016

45 Years

Movie Name: 45 Years
Year of Release: 2015
Director: Andrew Haigh
Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James, Dolly Wells, David Sibley
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Synopsis & Review:
Following the successful "Weekend" and his HBO show "Looking", writer/director Andrew Haigh has returned with the well reviewed and awarded "45 Years" (the film won Best Actress and Actor at the Berlin Film Festival in 2015, to name but a few of a slew of awards). The film is an adaptation of a short story from David Constantine and follows the story of a couple of has been married for 45 years and who's about to have a party to celebrate that event. During the week leading to that event, Kate and Jeff receive the news that the body of Jeff's former girlfriend from the 60s has been found. She had disappeared, in an accident in 1962, and her body has just now been found. Jeff shares some information with Kate about that relationship, but as the days pass, more information comes into play, and Kate starts realizing the impact that that woman has had on her life during all the years she has been married to Jeff.
Andrew Haigh has been a close observer of relationships in all his projects thus far. "45 Years" observes in detail how a relationship that has existed for a lifetime, contains secrets that threaten its existence. The unveiling of the situation behind Jeff's first relationship and its impact on his subsequent one with Kate are deeply felt by her, who gradually understands how their lives were impacted by secrets that were kept from her. This finally escalates to her dramatic moments at the celebration of their union, where Kate finally acknowledges the anger she feels towards her partner and their marriage. This film is a powerful and realistic look at the evolution of a long relationship between two people, and how some unspoken truths can damage something beyond repair. Andrew Haigh perfectly captures the existence and lives of these two people, who are brought to life by two fantastic actors, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. They both depict people whose lives are altered by a past event, that has in a way always existed in their lives, but that now becomes something very real and palpable. It's a film made from a frank and honest point of view, much like Andrew Haigh had done with "Weekend". A very good film worth watching.