45 Years Review
45 Years is a 2015 indie drama film directed by Andrew Haigh and starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. It is a solid film that has a couple of really powerful moments, but is in the end disappointing.
The news of the recently discovered preserved body of the husband’s ex-girlfriend shatter the marriage of the old couple just in time for their 45th anniversary. I liked the plot overall and although this whole premise is a hit-or-miss and can be too hard to believe, it still leads to some interesting family drama. I found this examination of their marriage interesting and the wife’s jealous reaction, though seemingly ridiculous, is very realistic and truthful as I myself would react like that in that situation. That is why I found those moments interesting as I connected with her and her troubles.
But the problem with this movie lies in its execution and especially direction. directed the movie in a pretentious way and I really disliked this sluggish pacing. There are too many sequences here that are just painfully slow and nothing happens. You are supposed to examine the characters’ behavior and emotionally connect in those scenes, but nothing happens in too many scenes and I always find such an approach frustrating. That ruined this film for me.
The characters are grounded in reality and the way they talk and act is truthful. I liked Geoff and especially Kate and I found their relationship wonderful and really strong. The highlight for me was the scene near the end and the speech he gives is really sweet. That ending was really heartwarming without being maudlin and I liked how the movie dealt with emotion as it is never too emotional. But the first half is a bit too cold nonetheless.
The acting is very strong of course. Tom Courtenay is excellent and he had a couple of powerful moments in his performance. And naturally Charlotte Rampling did an amazing job in her role as well and both of them deserved every nomination and accolade they received.
The dialogue is quite good, but I still expected it to be better. It is well filmed and made, but the tone is too serious and some lightness and humor was much needed. The emotion is mostly well handled, but the score is weak and, as I said, the pacing is awful. It is a short movie that seems way too long and that is never a good sign. I am annoyed at that approach because a better, more energetic and more sophisticated approach would have made this movie infinitely better. It is still a solid film, but having in mind its acting talent and interesting script, it should have been great.
45 Years is an interesting film with a couple of powerful scenes. The performances from Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are phenomenal, the story is interesting with some scenes being very relatable and realistic and the ending is sweet. However, the film is awfully boring due to its sluggish pacing and it never fully realizes its potential leading to a solid, but disappointing drama.
My Rating – 3.5