45 YEARS

We have another Euro movie review from our friend, London correspondent and international critic, The Sloth from WHATMOVIETHISWEEK.COM. They post Australian movie reviews from us and we post their Euro film reviews. Enjoy The Sloth’s review of 45 YEARS. It runs for 86mins and based on UK ratings would be the M equivalent in Australia. I do hope it gets a release here but fear it would only be on strict art house release, I love her to death but fear Charlotte Rampling is not a major box office drawcard. ….all the best….JK.

 

45 YEARS HORIZONTAL MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
45 YEARS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY THE SLOTH

There are few actors who can command a screen solely with their eyes. Charlotte Rampling is one of them. 45 YEARS was written specifically with her in mind and boy, does she do it justice.

Charlotte plays Kate, who is married to Geoff (Tom Courtenay). Geoff and Kate live an unremarkable existence in an unremarkable area of rural Norfolk. Their life is a quiet, unremarkable routine of walking the dog, opening the post and taking trips into town for shopping and coffee. They’re about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary and are in the middle of planning an elaborate party to mark the occasion. Until a small bombshell drops.

Geoff receives news that an ex girlfriend whom he was with prior to meeting Kate, has been found dead. Extraordinarily, she has been discovered in a glacier, perfectly frozen in time, having evidently lain there for years. The shock revelation stirs up long dormant feelings in Geoff that Kate finds increasingly difficult to deal with. Her suspicions aroused, Kate discovers evidence that Geoff and his ex were a lot closer than Geoff ever let her believe. So close that Kate questions whether she was ever Geoff’s true love. Whether she has, in fact, been second best all these years.

 

45 years movie image
45 YEARS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | KATE (CHARLOTTE RAMPLING) AND GEOFF MERCER (TOM COURTENAY)

 

From unremarkable beginnings, 45 YEARS becomes a truly remarkable film. The Sloth can’t remember ever seeing such a totally convincing portrait of a marriage on screen. There is no doubt that these two have been married for decades, so natural and understated is the rhythm of their lives, interactions and conversations that leave as much unsaid as said. We, as viewers, have simply intruded as flies on the wall. Quietly devastating and utterly believable, Kate’s crumbling inner self is painful to watch and completely human. It makes us question how we would deal with such a potentially total betrayal, wondering whether the majority of our life has been a sham.

It also highlights the differences between our private and public personas, asking how much is real and how much is artifice. With the shadow of their impending anniversary party hanging over her like a macabre spectre, Kate maintains her outer facade to the world, advising the party planner on ‘their songs’ for the playlist, assuming excitement to her friends, masking the cracks as she daren’t reveal the truth to others.

 

45 years movie image
45 YEARS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | KATE (CHARLOTTE RAMPLING) AND GEOFF MERCER (TOM COURTENAY)

 

Part drama, part horror story, 45 YEARS holds both its characters at arm’s length, allowing us to consider them as wholly rounded people. Tom is selfish but can we honestly say we’ve never wondered about ‘the one that got away’? Kate has been betrayed but how much does her behaviour stem from paranoia?

With minimal fuss, this is a film 100% about the actors who both deservedly won Silver Berlin Bears. Brilliantly scripted, it sets up a complex emotional situation then allows them to run with it, delivering understated, compelling and beautifully nuanced work that delivers a body blow to the hours of CGI tosh churned out by Hollywood on a daily basis. We doubt you’ll see better performances in a cinema this year. Or next, for that matter. Go see.

 

4 and a Half Pops