45 Years

Film Review by Jamie Dunn | 19 Jun 2015
Film title: 45 Years
Director: Andrew Haigh
Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James, Dolly Wells, David Sibley, Sam Alexander, Richard Cunningham
Release date: 28 Aug
Certificate: 15

There’s a ghost in the attic in Andrew Haigh’s haunting relationship drama 45 Years, but not the kind that can be vanquished with a séance. A week before Kate (Rampling) and Geoff (Courtenay) are due to celebrate their 45th anniversary, Geoff gets news that his first love, who disappeared while walking in the Alps 50 years ago, has been discovered, perfectly preserved. Cue late night trips to the loft to paw over dog-eared photographs of his former lover. Kate is left down below feeling a cold draft.

Haigh quietly ratchets the tension as the foundations of their relationship begin to crack. Much praise should go to the two yin and yang leads. Courtenay plays Geoff as a man coming apart at the seams, physically and emotionally. Even better is Rampling, whose Kate is icy and composed even when her eyes are screaming in anguish. "I'd like to tell you everything I'm thinking, but I can't," she says, but these unsaid resentments echo loudly. The film’s final image, of Kate’s face, will leave you floored.

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