A young Englishman plots revenge against his late cousin's mysterious, beautiful wife, believing her responsible for his death. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.
On the eve of retirement a middle class, judgmental snob discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend and is forced into exile with her bohemian sister who lives on an impoverished inner-city council estate.
Divorced and retired, Tony Webster, an aging Londoner and vintage camera shop owner, whittles down the solitude of his isolated existence by keeping an affectionate relationship with his ex-wife, Margaret, and by accompanying his nearly full-term pregnant daughter, Susie, to antenatal courses. However, the unexpected arrival of an unsettling letter will disrupt the fine balance of things in Tony's orderly life, reconnecting him with his first love from college, Veronica, and the nostalgic, yet clouded memories of a distant past. Inevitably, as Tony scavenges for bits and pieces through flashbacks, the out-of-focus picture of his youth will gradually sharpen, nevertheless, is he ready to face the truth?Written by
Matthew Goode and Michelle Dockery both appeared in Downton Abbey, which itself is also mentioned at the pub with Adrien Jr.'s group. See more »
Young Tony affixes a 'first-class' stamp to his fateful letter, sent in 1967. This sort of stamp was not produced for another 26 years (in 1993). See more »
[Voiceover of a letter he wrote]
I've been turning over in my mind the question of nostalgia, and whether I suffer from it? I suppose I am nostalgic. I think of my time with Margaret; with Susie's birth and her first years; a bunch of kids in school; a girl dancing for once in her life; a secret horizontal gesture beneath a sunlit wisteria. I think of Adrian's definition of "history." I think of everything that has happened in my life, and how little I have allowed to happen - I, who neither won...
See more »
The movie, adapted from a slim novel by Julian Barnes, is a tale of memory, guilt and regret. At the centre of the story is Tom, a divorced man in his late 60s, who leads a life of oppressive sameness. He receives a letter from a solicitor and Tom's routine is interrupted.
From flashbacks to the 1960s, we learn he was involved with a lass called Veronica and met Adrian, a charismatic student. A thoughtless act leads to, or may not have led to, tragedy.
How much of Tom's history (shown in the flashbacks) is true and how much is a distortion of his memory, is open to question.
Meanwhile, Tom's life in the present continues. His daughter is close to giving birth which means regular meetings with his former wife. This gives Tom an opportunity to discuss the past. By staying alert and listening in to the conversations closely and watching the flashbacks carefully, clues emerge for us to discern the truth.
Six fellow film fans and I saw the movie together and met for lunch afterwards. Our interpretations differed. An indication that we'd seen an exceptional film.
There were things we agreed on: the ensemble cast was outstanding; the editing was first-rate; the music unobtrusive; and the director's touch admirable.
Various actions of the major characters and possible actions not actually shown on screen were raised and analysed with the results agreed to by some, rejected by others.
It's not a film for everyone but for those who enjoy a movie where clues are given but interpretations are left to the viewer, this one's for you.
It's a movie that stays with you for days.
22 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this