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On a beautiful cloudless day a young couple celebrate their reunion with a picnic. Joe has planned a postcard-perfect afternoon in the English countryside with his partner, Claire. But as Joe and Claire prepare to open a bottle of champagne, their idyll comes to an abrupt end. A hot air balloon drifts into the field, obviously in trouble. The pilot catches his leg in the anchor rope, while the only passenger, a boy, is too scared to jump down. Joe and three other men rush to secure the basket. Just as they secure the balloon, the wind rushes into the field, and at once the rescuers are airborne. Joe manages to drop to the ground, as do most of his companions, but one man is lifted skywards. As Joe, Claire and the other rescuers watch this strangely beautiful sight, they see the man fall to his death. Recalling the day's events at dinner with his friends Robin and Rachel, Joe reveals the impact the accident has had on his battered psyche. Ironically the balloon eventually lands safely,...Written by
Sujit R. Varma
"Gripping throughout with a great modern British cast."
A freak balloon accident in the Oxfordshire countryside involving five men and a child results in the death of an Oxford GP. One of the men is a writer-teacher called Joe (Daniel Craig) who is obsessed with the fact that love may be a science and on top of that he is finding it hard to come to terms with what happened at the accident. This is causing tension between him and his sculptor girlfriend Claire (Samantha Morton) and the situation is worsened when he is contacted by one of the other men in the accident. The man is a loner called Jed (Rhys Ifans), a homosexual who believes that the accident was meant to bring him and Joe together and he begins stalking him wherever he goes with ultimately dangerous results.
ENDURING LOVE adapted from a novel by Ian McEwan is a long and complex thriller, but one that never fails to grip the audience with NOTTING HILL director Roger Michell skillfully blending the mixture of themes including Joe's obsessive theories about love (which are ultimately turned upside down), the impact of the stalking and how it affects the relationship between Claire and Joe and the latter's guilt about the accident. Michell is ably assisted by a first rate cast including Daniel Craig as Joe who was brilliant in this year's British gangster blockbuster LAYER CAKE and Rhys Ifans from NOTTING HILL is splendid as the gay stalker. Samantha Morton also deserves praise as Joe's lover and it is sad to know that ENDURING LOVE isn't likely to find an audience beyond the art-houses. It is well above the quality of some of the hopelessly pretentious offerings our country has turned out in recent years like TRAUMA and THE RATCATCHER.
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