Kate and Geoff Mercer are planning to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary with dozens of friends. The event is to take place soon in the community hall of Norwich, the town near which they live. A week before the party, Geoff receives a letter which, although he tries to hide it, obviously troubles him. When his wife asks him what is going on, Geoff tells her that the body of Katya, his first great love who disappeared fifty years before in the Alps, has just been found in a melting glacier. From then on, Geoff starts behaving more and more strangely and for the first time after so many years Kate asks herself who the man she married so long ago really is. Written by
In the cafe scene George tries to convince Tom Courtney's character that playing the ukulele would be a good hobby. In real life Tom Courtenay is an avid ukulele player. See more »
The morning when Rampling's character enters the kitchen, the clock reads 7:32. Later, being concerned about the passage of time, we see Rampling check her watch as she follows Courtenay into the storage area. Afterwards we see them once again in the kitchen concluding a conversation and going outside to have a smoke. To account for the time that had passed, the clock reads one hour later: 8:32. (Of course the odds are 1 in 60 that it be exactly 1 hour later, but such are the elements of master strokes!) Another morning the clock reads 8:25, and in the afternoon it reads 1:00. There are no goofs with the clock. See more »
Kate and Geoff live a quite and seemingly normal life in the country until Geoff receives a letter informing him that the body an old girlfriend, whom he travelled through Switzerland with, but was lost in climbing accident, has been found preserved in a glacier of ice. This happened before he met Charlotte Rampling's Kate, who immediately raises her eyebrows at the clarity in which Geoff, played by Tom Courtenay, recalls his time in the Swiss Alps. She's more concerned with arranging the party for her anniversary than digging up the past, but that's what spurs Geoff into life, as he picks up old habits and develops a fascination with his loft. In stark contrast, suspicion and jealously soon begins to grow in Kate, who feels pushed aside in favour of someone she didn't even know.
In some ways, 45 Years is shot like a mystery or a crime film, with the days chartered appropriately in this regard, although there's an overwhelming feeling of Gothic horror abound, but without the Gothic overtones. It's set in the Norfolk Broads, after all, but Kate and Geoff's country cottage could be the house of Usher given the secrets that lie beneath. The performances are exemplary, of course, whilst the staging and framing is that of a director at the top of his game. Both visually and with regards to the diegetic soundtrack that tells the story of this couple's life. But how much of that was defined by Geoff's dead girlfriend? The film's parting shot is genuinely brilliant, with the camera focusing on Kate much in the same way it stayed on Bob Hoskins at the end of The Long Good Friday, or George Clooney in Michael Clayton, challenging audiences to stare into the mind of a character and draw our own conclusions.
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