“45 Years” was written and directed by Andrew Haigh based on a short story by David Constantine. It stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay who, at 69 and 78, respectively, play the parts of Geoff and Kate Mercer, a supposedly happily married couple as they, or more properly, Kate, plans their 45th Wedding Anniversary celebration at the local banquet hall. Spanning a period of less than a week in their lives, this is the story of a long lost romance Geoff had well before he ever met Kate and how this 50 year old experience suddenly impacts on their present lives and, more significantly, Kate’s reaction and response to what she now learns about it.
Mr. Courtenay plays a subdued and stoic role as he attempts to move on from the past while Ms. Rampling’s character becomes more absorbed with the historic details as if this now deceased part of her husband’s life is still alive and in competition with her. Enough cannot be said of the wonderful acting of Ms. Rampling who, with little or no dialogue, is able to express more emotion and feeling than most actors might if they were shouting.
Although the film is long and at times somewhat tedious, it is in effect mirroring the relationship of the couple on the screen as they, in their typical British civility, struggle through the emotional obstacles that confront them.
I give the film 3 and 1/2 stars and credit Mr. Haigh with successfully accomplishing the dual role of good writing and directing.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
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