• James Rutherford

'45 Years': A Thought-Provoking British Drama About an Aging Couple's Profound Revelation


Movie poster for the film 45 Years (2015)

45 Years (2015) is an absorbing and thought-provoking British drama starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as Kate and Geoff Mercer, retirees in Norfolk, England preparing to celebrate their 45th anniversary.


On the eve of their commemoration Geoff receives word that the body of his former lover has been found in Switzerland, at the base of a melting glacier where she fell to her death decades earlier. Geoff is seemingly disquieted by the revelation while showing little outward emotion, yet he proceeds to display unusual and erratic behavior around the home and village. Kate grows increasingly concerned over her husband's detachment without realizing the full extent of his relationship with the mysterious former flame—the storyline carefully disclosing shades of their past together as hints of a previous life unbeknown to the conscientious Kate.


Written and directed by British filmmaker Andrew Haigh (Lean on Pete, Weekend) in adaptation of the short story "In Another Country" by David Constantine, 45 Years is a rich and subtle character study, bolstered immeasurably by the performances of its two leads. Haigh's even-handed treatment forms a vivid depiction of human emotion and behavior, devoid of overt sentimentality while plumbing the depths of a steadfast relationship at the very moment of ineludible transformation.

 

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