Thursday, 18 February 2016
MINI-REVIEW: 45 YEARS
After almost half a century of marriage, could their be anything you don't know about your partner? On the eve of their 45th wedding anniversary, Kate (Charlotte Rampling) is about to have her understanding of her relationship with husband Geoff (Tom Courtenay) shaken to its core when someone from his past is literally unearthed.
That's an ex-lover of Geoff's who died during a backpacking holiday before Geoff and Kate even met. But it's not just the similar hair colour and name (the victim was Katya) that has Kate questioning everything about the man she loves, as one minor revelation after another results in seismic emotional activity.
Writer-director Andrew Haigh's previous film, Weekend (2011), was about two men making a connection within a 48-hour period before one of them left for overseas. Conversely, 45 Years is about a life-long couple discovering new and not-so likable layers about each other and themselves.
Make no mistake, this is Rampling's film and she commands the screen in her quiet, coiled manner and with her questioning eyes. The veteran British actress, known equally for her roles in French films, fully deserves her first Oscar nomination; Courtenay is also good as the husband who, while growing ever distant, can't seem to understand his wife's curiosity about a past that doesn't involve her.
It's a film that may resonate more with older, more experienced viewers but 45 Years makes for excellent post-film date conversations about where the truth lies, and if sleeping dogs should remain so.