Monday, October 15, 2018

45 Years: Film Review

28 August 2015 (UK release)
It's autumn a time for harvest and a time for ghost stories. The film 45 Years--about a couple taking stock of their lengthy marriage-- delivers both.

I first watched this film a month ago, but it still haunts me daily.

Charlotte Rampling and and Tom Courtenay play Kate and Geoff Mercer, who are preparing to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary in a town hall filled with their friends.  About a week prior to this event, Geoff received notification that his girlfriend's body from fifty years prior has been found emerging from a melting glacier. 

And there you have the central metaphor: people, places and events frozen in the past that unexpectedly emerge into the present.

Rampling must come to terms with the person her husband was when he was intimate with this other woman, Katya, and how his relationship with her and his reveries about his youthful romance still affect who he is today. 

The pacing may seem slow to some viewers. However, anyone who has been in a long-term relationship will perceive the tensions, the deep feelings, the profound significance of a turn of phrase, an old photograph, a long abandoned book, a wistful glance away from the present moment. 


After I finished the film, I immediately went back and watched Rampling's expressions over three key scenes in the film. She's conveying a great deal of thought and emotion in the most understated yet powerful ways. You can watch her recalibrate her marriage, her husband's character, and her own values.

It's riveting to watch. 

Don't read any spoilers. Just rent this movie and prepare to think about the nature of long-term relationships and the complexities of the human psyche.


Related:



8 comments:

  1. Hmmmm...interesting, just might have to pull this one up and watch on a cold winter evening! Great share - thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I was watching it, I had no idea how much it would get under my skin. It's subtle but powerful.

      Delete
  2. I am intrigued! I will look for it. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I watched a couple of trailers for this film, but they didn't really convey the quiet horror at the heart of this film. It's too easy to spoil the movie when trying to explain the intellectual and emotional impact of the story.

      Delete
  3. I will look up this film. I will be brave since my husband and I were going to celebrate our 45th anniversary a week before his sudden death so it might be hard to watch or healing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I am sorry to read about your husband's passing. While I am sure that your husband has a better character than the man in the film, I wouldn't want to encourage you to dwell in moment (a 45th anniversary celebration) that would cause you greater heartache. Gentle hugs to you, Terra.

      Delete
  4. I'm always looking for films about older people—this one sounds haunting and real. Long-term relationships certainly do have their complications!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It appears to be very slow, but the quiet is for you to project what the husband and wife are thinking. The actions from the past and their rippling effects over decades are chilling. And the director actually gives the audience a lot of responsibility to conduct those conversations about regret, compromise, accountability, reputation, sacrifice, selfishness, and other significant issues invoked by the film.

      Delete