45 Years is directed by Andrew Haigh and it stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as an elderly couple approaching their 45th wedding anniversary when a letter appears in the mail notifying them of news that will change their lives and the week leading to their celebration.
The first thing anyone should know before even considering to watch 45 Years is that there is no enjoyment in it. The film is very dark in emotion and is incredibly dark for a drama despite the story being all talk and very crunchy biscuits.
That being said, 45 Years is made and written brilliantly. The writing brings an incredible tale of realistic emotion and depressing revelation to the screen with ease, elegance and discomfort for the audience. My heart was squirming for the characters (both male and female) as words were spat and eyes were jerked.
Charlotte Rampling is amazing in 45 Years. Her performance could elevate the film to award status without the help of anyone else. Her face tells the entire story with her deadpan sadness and incredible ability to revelate to a camera. Tom Courtenay is also brilliant in 45 Years although not as brilliant as Charlotte (being a very hard arrow to race) playing a man with many issues with unbelievable ease.
There’s a saying in the movie industry which is “Always shoot the money”. Andrew Haigh goes completely against this saying and instead decides to “always shoot the feels”. The camera is constantly angled towards Charlotte Rampling and shows her face in close-up whenever there is a great emotion to be shown.
As I said before however, there is no enjoyment to be had. 45 Years is a beautiful film with a lot of raw emotion but it’s not one I would ever pay to see again. It’s brilliantly made darkness and sadness with an ending that kicked me in the stomach and made me feel sad at least an hour after seeing the film.
45 Years is an elegantly crafted presentation of relationships and how secrecy is a hag. Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay give amazing performances and Andrew Haigh can seriously direct but the story left me feeling bad for the characters in such a dark way I feel hurt. I still am hurt. Don’t watch this movie if a happy ending is what you seek.
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