“45 Years”

“45 Years”
Directed by Andrew Haigh

tom-courtenay-charlotte-rampling-45-years-sundanceI put off watching this film until I literally had nothing else to watch. In fact, full disclosure, I watched it on my laptop on a plane on four hours sleep and with half a Xanex in my system. I was convinced I would pass out while watching – and then I could say I had tried to get through it and just couldn’t. But something interesting happened along the way…I became highly engrossed in this very honest story of grief and betrayal.

The first act meandered a sliver too long, but the second act is a whopper and the extremely successful third act finale takes all of one shot. I mean, it SHOULD’VE put me to sleep based on the sleepy nature of the surroundings and the meandering communication skills of our two leads. And it’s pretty voyeuristic, but not in a creepy way…and, maybe because I’m a therapist, I found the nature of discovery between this 45-year couple, thrilling at best, and intensely curious at the very least.

Obviously this comes down to Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. This might be just as good with another pair of actors, but it would be so different. That it succeeds as well as it does, comes down to your absolute belief that their 45 years together is real…that it actually happened.

Listen, this is a very quiet movie (with no score that I could discern) other than music playing on the radio (or other public areas), which only heightened the “watching something we shouldn’t be privy to” feeling.

Not my favorite movie by a long shot, but for those of you who like your slice of life with a little discomfort, it’s well worth the 90 minutes.

Written 02/23/2016

 

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