45Years

If a film is about a decades-long marriage rocked by the revelation of long-held secrets, the natural expectation is that the marriage will fall apart. 45 Years is a little more complicated than that. Kate (Charlotte Rampling) is initially fine when the dead body of her husband Jeff’s (Tom Courtenay) ex-lover Katya is discovered. But tensions rise as the extent of Jeff and Katya’s relationship is revealed. It is never fully clear if Jeff has kept these secrets due to selfishness, embarrassment, deviousness, forgetfulness, or some combination of the above. Similarly, it is left ambiguous whether or not Kate can remain satisfied with their marriage amidst the dishonesty. Ergo, 45 Years works best as a showcase for the complications that Rampling can convey with gasps, furrowed brows, and heavy cheeks.

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