45 Years (2015)
Critic Consensus: 45 Years offers richly thought-provoking rewards for fans of adult cinema -- and a mesmerizing acting showcase for leads Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay.
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as Kate Mercer
as Geoff Mercer
as Travel Agent
as Mr. Watkins
as Chris the Postman
as Maitre d'
as Cafe Waitress
as Jewelry Shop Manager
as Brewery Security
as The Smoking Chef
as Jarrold's Shopper
as Woman in Cafe (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for 45 Years
How many great movies could be written across the enigmatic, profound face of Charlotte Rampling? Hundreds? Thousands? At any rate, Andrew Haigh's 45 Years is one of them.
This story, which grows richer the more you think about it, is a rueful acknowledgment of the fact that few of us can.
If the subject matter is familiar, Haigh approaches it in good faith - avoiding both sentimentality and cynicism, and seeking out fresh insight rather than settling for cliche.
To know is not the same as to possess, and at any rate, possession is never permanent.
In the beautifully acted drama"45 Years," a marriage lives and dies; we watch its agonized struggle, like a butterfly impaled on a pin.
Audience Reviews for 45 Years
One week before a couple's 45th wedding anniversary, the husband receives news that his first love's remains have been found preserved in ice on the mountains where she fell and died nearly fifty years ago. He is understandably shaken, and his wife is at first supportive and curious, but then increasingly insecure, especially when he starts obsessively reminiscing over his quixotic twenties instead of helping her plan their anniversary party. This quiet, if slow, drama is a stark, sad look at the emotional detritus that builds up over an aging life and the little heartbreaks and secret truths that can unravel a long marriage. Charlotte Rampling's gracefully lined face achingly captures Kate's passive aggressions, and she delivers a thirty-second actor's masterclass in that one-sided dialogue scene of her on the phone, confirming the party songlist with the event planner and deliberately avoiding "their song" only to capitulate in a subtle fit of anguish at the very end.
It seems very odd to say that I would prefer to watch a conventional love story after viewing this film, but I whole-heartedly believe that. This is a very frustrating picture. "45 Years" follows an elderly couple about to celebrate their forty-fifth wedding anniversary, and while they are deeply in love, what comes into their lives is devastating for one of them. As a story is uncovered about a past lover, Geoff begins to recall everything they did together before he married his current wife. Explaining his past to her, emotions being to fly and the performances are what drive the rest of the film. Aside from great direction, a brilliant cast in Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, and dialogue that will have you believing what is being presented, this film feels a little unfinished. I do understand the praise around this film, but by the end, I felt myself wanting so much more, and most reviews do not touch on that. This couple is about to reach the peak of the their marriage and everything in the last frame was off for me. It was trying to give a huge emotionally payoff, but I was left empty and wanting to understand their feelings. That is the main plot of the story, and I do not feel it was explored enough. In he end, "45 Years" flows at a good pace and it's 97 minutes running time is the perfect length for this story. It is a nice watch, but nothing more.
As the day approaches of their 45th wedding anniversary a letter arrives and changes a once solid marriage from the ground up. The leads (as well as the director/writer) wisely keep their distance, allowing the viewer complete opportunity for close inspection of an obvious yet horrifying truth about life, one we usually choose to be silent about.
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