45 Years is written and directed by Andrew Haigh and stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. The film is based on a short story called “In Another Country” by David Constantine and is about a couple who is about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary until they receive some news that turns out to change their entire marriage.
This was a movie that has received universal acclaim and has an Oscar nomination for Best Actress (Rampling), so that was enough for me to be excited to see this film. The performances in this film are absolutely superb, with both Rampling and Courtenay playing their characters exquisitely.
Courtenay is excellent as the husband who is going through a dramatic moment in his life, as he is the perfect amount of grumpy, confused, and loving, and he allows this story to reach layers that I certainly did not expect.
Rampling is definitely the lead in the film, and she is marvelous in it. Rampling has a subtlety to her character that allows us to know what she is feeling without her coming out and saying it, and that is really one of the best things about this movie.
This film is slow, but not in a bad way. The pace is the way it is to build the emotion and to get the audience thinking, and it completely works. The feelings of the two leads are never stated, but they can always be assumed by facial expressions and actions they choose to do, and how this movie is made is truly brilliant.
Andrew Haigh has such remarkable direction in this movie, with every subtle choice meaning something huge in the long run, and with an excellent score and camerawork to boot, 45 Years is something truly special, and I was surprised how much this movie hit me.
The whole film builds up to the end, which of course I will not spoil, but wow. The conclusion to this movie had me feeling a million emotions at once, had me searching for answers and, once I realized what had just happened, had me in awe at how masterfully created it truly was.
Overall, 45 Years is a showcase for Rampling and Courtenay, has magnificent direction, and a purposely slow build that creates a realistic, yet absolutely tragic story in the idea of love. The end of this movie, I believe, is one of the most well-crafted endings of all-time, and left me thinking about the film well after I was done watching. I never expected to be so blown away by 45 Years, I actually expected it to be well overrated, but I was genuinely wrong. This is not a movie for everyone, the buildup is slow, but that is on purpose, but for those who see this movie, it is a rewarding experience to watch such a well-done film come together. I believe every choice 45 Years makes is the right one, and for that reason, it receives a perfect score.
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