45 Years (2015)

45 years poster 2015 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great cast and good visuals, thinking picture

Pacing and character driven story might not be for everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name: 45 Years

Studio:  BFI Film Fund

Genre(s): Drama

Release Date(s):  February 6, 2015 (Berlin International Film Festival)/December 23, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

45 years bed charlotte rampling tom courtenay

So….what’s up with this Katya?

Kate and Geoff Mercer (Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay) live an idealic life in the Norfolk countryside and planning to celebrate their forty-fifth wedding anniversary.  When the body of Geoff’s former love Katya is discovered on the glacier where she perished, old memories resurface, and Kate finds herself in competition with a woman who died years before.

Directed and written by Andrew Haigh, 45 Years is a drama.  The film adapts the David Constantine short story “In Another Country” and premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.  The movie received critical acclaim and Charlotte Rampling received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.  The Criterion Collection released a copy of the film (Criterion #861).

I generally make an effort to see most Academy Award nominations (at least the big categories).  I didn’t get a chance to see 45 Years until recently, and I’m glad I finally sought it out.

45 years charlotte rampling pregnant

In competition with a ghost

The movie is very character driven which could be frustrating to some viewers.  The story revolves around the emotional context of finding someone you’ve been with for years has been mentally unfaithful to you almost the entire time.  It is an unusual situation that is result of a lost love that was at no fault of the person who was “unfaithful”.  It raises interesting questions on what is love and what is forgivable.

Charlotte Rampling received critical acclaim for her smart portrayal of Kate.  She’s obviously tortured because she loves her husband but much of what their relationship was established on was an unspoken lie.  She emotes a lot throughout the movie without saying things.  While Rampling was primarily heralded, I think Tom Courtenay’s performance was also strong.  He is a man who harbored a secret for so long and finally finds it spilling out when he’s too old to keep in anymore…though he loves his wife, he has this lost love.

45 years charlotte rampling tom courtenay anniversary party

We’re cool…right?

The film is nicely shot and there is a strange coldness to the movie.  The scenery of the England countryside is wet, clammy, and cold…and it seems to creep and hang on the characters.  The movie is great looking.

45 Years reminds me a lot of an Ingmar Bergman film.  The movie is about some really intense subjects, but it is a slice of life that threatens to change forty-five years of a marriage in a few days.  The film in many ways is a ghost story with the spirit of Katya haunting both Kate and Geoff…leaving them both in a place where even the next day could be in question.

Related Links:

The 88th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response