It’s funny I went to the theater tonight and scores of people were coming out of Deadpool with smiles on their faces. I’m sure they had a great time and that’s awesome. I instead went to see 45 Years and I was alone in the theater and came out literally sobbing. Quite the contrast! But I wager to say in 10 years my experience will be the more memorable one. Suffice it to say, I have a new entry in my Best Movies of 2015.
45 Years is a very simple movie. It tells the story of a week in the life of a couple before they celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. On day 1 Geoff, the husband, played by Tom Courtenay, gets a letter in German informing him that the body of the love of his youth has been found and he can come and claim it.
Kate, the wife, played brilliantly by Charlotte Rampling, is aware of the relationship but is surprised when the news is so impactful upon her husband. She starts to wonder if there was a side to this old relationship she never knew about? Has her husband of 45 years been honest with her? Was she the 2nd choice over his true love? All of these questions are asked by Kate as the days unwind.
I think what made this movie so particularly moving for me is Kate reminds me so much of my beloved Grandmother. She is one of my best friends but in the last 2 years her health has not been well and it is difficult for her to talk on the phone. This has made talking to her quite difficult since we live in different states. Watching this movie made me realize how much I miss my Grandma.
Even Charlotte Rampling’s look and disposition reminds me of my Grandma. I loved the way she had her life ordered and was a bright light to all in her circle. When she finds out her husband hasn’t been completely honest with her the devastation is so palatable. You can see it in Rampling’s whole body not just her face. I wanted to give her a hug.
If it hadn’t been so late I would have called my Grandma right after and told her I loved her. I’m going to do it tomorrow. That’s the kind of emotion this movie evoked in me. I was literally sobbing. I just love my Grandma so much.
I know what it feels like for people you love to come out of nowhere with news and to have to absorb it as best you can, so I related to that storyline as well. I related to having to come to grips when you thought the person you loved was one way and turns out to be another. There is nothing harder than that in my opinion.
Some will probably find this boring. It’s kind of like Boyhood in the way it is just about a week in the life of this couple. Some people don’t like that kind of movie. Some may not like the somewhat ambiguous ending, but I thought it was pure truth. It may be the best movie I’ve ever seen about marriage. That’s not hyperbole. It’s really how I felt.
Tom Courtenay is also wonderful in the role. You want to hate him for the dishonesty and the pain he is causing Kate but you can also see why he left the past in the past. It felt authentic and real to the way such a man would behave. We all know older men like Geoff.
I’m not saying don’t see Deadpool. Go see it. Have some laughs if the content is your thing, but make time in your schedule to see a film that something to say about life. Make time to see 45 Years. It was a stunning film and I’m so glad Charlotte Rampling was nominated for best actress. She is much better than either Cate Blanchett in Carol or Brie Larsen in Room.
The rest of the supporting cast is wonderful and gives the entire experience a lived in feel. It seems like a real group of friends, a real community that surrounds Geoff and Kate.
Props to director Andrew Haigh for his tremendous achievement. I loved this movie and I encourage all of you to see it.
As far as content it is rated R but it is a pretty mild R. There are a few F words and one mild scene of sensuality between the couple.
Overall Grade- A+
My youtube review:
12 thoughts on “45 Years Review”
Good job! I found 45 years deep as well and it’s so subtle but yet you can see the doubt slowly fester into the mind of Rampling’s character.
Right! It seems hard to believe 45 years could unravel in days but the way it is executed is totally subtle and believable. What an amazing movie. So glad you loved it too
Glad you found it so emotional! I don’t think it’s a movie I’d be interested in.
Do you think there’s any chance of Rampling winning the award?
Probably not because the movie is smaller but she’d deserve it. It seriously was a master class in acting.
Wasn’t there another old people movie in which the actress was nominated for acting either last Oscars or the one before?
There’s been a couple. Judy Dench in Philomena which was a wonderful movie in 2014. And then Emmanuelle Riva in Amour in 2013 are the 2 that come to mind first.
I think Amour was the one I was referring to. Thanks!
I’ve seen Charlotte Rampling in over half a dozen films over the years: Georgy Girl, Stardust Memories, The Verdict, The Wings of the Dove, Swimming Pool, The Duchess, Melancholia. For the first time she actually exudes warmth in a role. She was very compelling here.
Only one of those I’ve seen is The Duchess. Is she usually a villain then? I’m glad she got this chance because she was so great.
Quite the contrary. She is often the romantic lead but she has a very icy demeanor.
Oh ok. I’m eager to see more of her after 45 Years so I will check these out. Which is best of group?
The Verdict is phenomenal. It stars Paul Newman in one of the greatest roles of his entire career.