Wednesday, October 21, 2015

45 Years

Throughout the years, fiction has frequently depicted holy matrimony. Often times it's depicted as wedded bliss while other times it's shown as a match made in hell. But more recently, the cracks within a so-called flawless marriage have been in the spotlight.

Such is the case with Andrew Haigh's 45 Years. Revolving around the week of a married couple, Haigh depicts how even a marriage as long-lasting as Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff's (Tom Courtenay) can be far from perfect. (After all, perfection's overrated anyway.)

Much like Haigh's previous film Weekend, 45 Years depicts the quiet lives of two people that are altered by recent events. And while Weekend focuses on the budding relationship between the two men, that marital bond between Kate and Geoff is beginning to crumble. And the end results for both films are just heartwrenching.

Now onto the performances. Rampling and Courtenay, both veterans of the British screen, provide phenomenal work. Rampling (who is clearly the star of the film) gives a silent take on her character but that does not make her performance or the film any less devastating. (Many times the camera just lingers on her.) Courtenay in turn also gives a quiet turn which makes his words to Kate all the more effective.

45 Years is a quiet yet completely devastating film. Thanks to the work from Rampling, Courtenay and Haigh, it's one of those glimpses that is all-consuming and will not let go of the viewer. And that last shot of Rampling is absolutely haunting. (Also, anyone who says there are no great roles for actors over 65 clearly isn't looking hard enough.)

My Rating: *****

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