Monday, January 15, 2018

The Sense of an Ending: Film Review

Released March 10, 2017.
Because I have read and admired The Sense of an Ending (2011) by Julian Barnes, I sought to watch the 2017 film based on this novel.

Yes, the book is more complex and thoughtful than the film, but the director and actors did a credible job exploring themes of memory, regret, consequences, and perspectivity.

The film stars Jim Broadbent as Tony Webster, a divorced man who avoids conflict with others and has very few intimate relationships. He has one child, a daughter, but he keeps her at arm's length.

During the course of the film, he receives a letter from an attorney regarding a journal written by Adrian, a college friend who died decades earlier. Both he and Adrian dated the same young woman, Veronica.

The journal was willed to him by Veronica's mother. Receiving this letter sets Tony to recall various events from his university days involving Veronica, Tony, and a host of others on the periphery of these relationships.

The film cuts between the past and the present. In the present, Tony reconnects with Veronica (played by Charlotte Rampling) in an attempt to receive Adrian's diary.

In order to avoid spoilers, I will just say that Tony's view on past events is incomplete and contorted. He also has to review some of the choices he made and the consequences of those choices.

It's a good film about how we carry the past with us and how the past can transform over time. See the film, but also read the novel, which won the Man Booker Prize.


The Sense of an Ending: Book Review


  1. It seems that you can never escape the consequences of what you have done in life. Good reason to do no wrong to others!

  2. I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but it sounds very interesting. I think I'll go for the book first. They are always better.

    1. I hope you enjoyed the book. I found the first part dragged until I realized that those first memories would be contested and new information would come to light. I also had no idea the events would set things in motion for decades to come.

  3. A SIL made a comment to another SIL that spurred her to call me thinking the woman had a stroke in her recreating history! I think it is too easy to recreate history for some until and if they get caught.I will check out the book. Thanks

  4. Love Charlotte Rampling. Thanks for this.