45 Years Movie Review

Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling.
Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling.

THE seemingly blissfully content marriage of 45 Years begins to crumble when a skeleton in the closet presents itself at the most inconvenient moment.

Just as Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) begin planning the celebrations of their 45th wedding anniversary, Geoff receives news the body of a former lover has been discovered.

It was a relationship that came to an abrupt end before Geoff met Kate, but this news reveals perhaps he never got over his now dead ex-girlfriend.

Kate begins to notice a change in Geoff’s behaviour but is it just her insecurities surfacing during a stressful time or is her instinct Geoff is not being completely honest on point?

Quiet and understated, 45 Years is a mature examination of a long-term relationship and discovering things may never have been what they seemed.

It is a mortifying prospect that anyone in a long-term relationship could relate to; this may hit close to home for many.

Writer/director Andrew Haigh is not interested in hyperbolic camera movements for the sake of hollow dramatics; his camera sits mostly still as an observer of the frays that begin to appear in this relationship.

Viewer be warned, 45 Years does test one’s patience with its slow moving developments; it often feels like we are witnessing this week leading up to the anniversary party in real time.

As one patron was overheard remarking, “oh, it’s a bit slow.”

The emotional unravelling and devastation (Oscar nominated Rampling in the last scene is shattering) is far more dramatically interesting than any building collapse or robot smack down.

THE ESSENTIALS

45 Years (M)

Directed by: Andrew Haigh

Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas February 18