Monday, August 31, 2015

45 years

Moira and I went to the Watershed (for the third time in 8 days!) this afternoon to see Andrew Haigh’s “45 Years” – based on David Constantine’s short story “In Another Country”. Charlotte Rampling (Kate) and Tom Courtenay (Geoff) are about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when Geoff receives a letter telling him that the body of his previous girlfriend has been found, perfectly preserved in the ice of the Alps where she fell 50 years ago. Suddenly, everything becomes different… the rock-solid relationship of their childless marriage faces a crisis as Geoff becomes deeply affected by his news; he refers to his former girlfriend as “my Katya”; he considers travelling to Switzerland to see her body… Kate knew nothing about the relationship and can’t understand Geoff’s attitude after so many years had passed. Geoff keeps disappearing into the attic to pore over an old diary; Katya’s perfume becomes apparent around the house/attic; old slides are re-discovered… Kate feels as if she’s been living in some sort of sham marriage…
It’s a very mournful, honest and sensitive film about memories, long-term relationships and ageing. Rampling and Courtenay are both superb (although Courtenay’s bumbling mannerisms did irritate me at times!). The film contained some powerful, thought-provoking dialogue on the ageing process - for example: “She looks like she did in 1962 and I look like this” (Geoff).
Moira+I have been married for nearly 43 years, so it was quite a poignant film for us (although no skeletons-in-the-cupboard emerged during the course of our conversations walking home!!) and we were clearly able to identify with the various references to becoming old!
An excellent, stylish, intriguing, thought-provoking film… and brilliantly acted.  
PS: For me, one of the saddest reminders from the film was remembering that Radio4 formed the constant(?) background sound around the house. With Moira’s hearing problems, having ANY background noise is pretty difficult for her these days… so, she goes without her beloved Radio4 and I pick and choose my music/radio moments (earpieces work for me but, sadly, don’t for Moira).
PPS: Our good friend Sam Alexander also had a small part in the film – he played the postman!


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