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45 Years (Review and Trailer)

45 years POSTER




Review by John Delia

Sterling performances, but the script just doesn’t make 45 Years a memorable experience. Charlotte Rampling’s characterization does show her at her best, but the story moves along at a slow pace, gets uninspiring and mundane. It seems like blasphemy that I would not like a drama that has its star up for Oscar’s Best Actress, but if it’s just acting you want to see, then 45 Years should be a must. Sometimes the acting becomes the entertainment prize and for the ladies Charlotte gives her all.

Kate (Charlotte Rampling) has been preparing for her 45th anniversary with her husband Geoff (Tom Courtenay). The two are idolized by the community in which they live and have gathered many friends over the years. The week before the big event, Geoff gets a letter from Germany telling him that they found the body of his first love Katia who fell into a glacier some 50 years ago during A journey together. The letter sparks a deep seeded memory for Geoff peaking his interest in possibly going to see the woman whose body was perfectly preserved in the ice.

Tom Corteney and Charlotte Rampling are married in 45 Years

Tom Corteney and Charlotte Rampling are married in 45 Years

Jealous of this woman she never knew, Kate starts to get strong feelings that her life with Geoff (Tom Courtenay) has not been at the center of her husband’s dream for their future. This sets off a gloomy mood for her on this auspicious occasion. Director Andrew Haigh and writer of David Constantine’s short story for the screen, immerses his film in a change of direction in the life of his two main characters. It puts Kate on a quest to find out how much Geoff still loves the woman who died so many years ago and whether she was just a rebound marriage. The characters are the thing with Haigh and he dissects Kate and Geoff for all to see, even showing his lack of sexual ability in the twilight of their years.

Playing the lead male in this study of life’s mystery of old age and 45 years of companionship, Tom Courtenay (The Dresser) does a terrific job in the role. He shows his character dealing with the trials that aging brings and the jealousy that has sprung up from the letter he receives. But, he also has no clue that his wife may have discovered a wound in their marriage that may never heal.

Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years

Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years

In the emotional role of Kate, Charlotte Rampling gives budding actresses an acting lesson on how to command the screen even with a dreary script. She’s marvelous as the woman dedicated to her husband in every way, but when a hidden flame that still burns brightly comes to light, she realizes 45 years of marriage may have been with the wrong man. Rampling knows how to overshadow the story by digging into the soul of her character. Her performance here is really worth watching, especially for the ladies for whom the film was written.

45 Years has been rated R by the MPAA for language and brief sexuality. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that are inappropriate for adolescents.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A chick flick with a stellar performance by Charlotte Rampling. (C+)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay
Directed and Written by: Andrew Haigh
Genre: Drama, Romance
MPAA Rating: R for language and brief sexuality
Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min.
Release Date: January 22, 2016
Distributed by: Sundance Selects

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