7.1/10
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167 user 41 critic

The End of the Affair (1999)

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On a rainy London night in 1946, novelist Maurice Bendrix has a chance meeting with Henry Miles, husband of his ex-mistress Sarah, who abruptly ended their affair two years before. ... See full summary »

Director:

Neil Jordan

Writers:

Graham Greene (novel), Neil Jordan (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ralph Fiennes ... Maurice Bendrix
Stephen Rea ... Henry Miles
Julianne Moore ... Sarah Miles
Heather-Jay Jones Heather-Jay Jones ... Henry's Maid (as Heather Jay Jones)
James Bolam ... Mr. Savage
Ian Hart ... Mr. Parkis
Sam Bould Sam Bould ... Lance Parkis (as Samuel Bould)
Cyril Shaps ... Waiter
Penny Morrell Penny Morrell ... Bendrix's Landlady
Simon Fisher-Turner Simon Fisher-Turner ... Doctor Gilbert (as Dr. Simon Turner)
Jason Isaacs ... Father Richard Smythe
Deborah Findlay ... Miss Smythe
Nicholas Hewetson Nicholas Hewetson ... Chief Warden
Jack McKenzie ... Chief Engineer
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Storyline

On a rainy London night in 1946, novelist Maurice Bendrix has a chance meeting with Henry Miles, husband of his ex-mistress Sarah, who abruptly ended their affair two years before. Bendrix's obsession with Sarah is rekindled; he succumbs to his own jealousy and arranges to have her followed. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The end was just the beginning.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of strong sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ocaso de un amor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$198,535, 5 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,660,147, 19 March 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Surprisingly, this genteel period drama was granted an 18 certificate in the UK (the equivalent of an R rating). This was mainly down to the fact the censor found Ralph Fiennes' gyrating buttocks in the numerous sex scenes to be too graphic. See more »

Goofs

Bendrix has just finished putting Sarahs stocking on and attaching the garter strap. In the next shot he puts her shoe on a foot clearly not wearing a stocking. See more »

Quotes

Sarah: I've only made two promises in my life. One was to marry Henry, the other is to stop seeing you. And I'm too weak to keep either.
See more »

Connections

Features 21 Days Together (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

The More I See You
Written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
Performed by Carmen Cavallaro and His Orchestra
Sung by Gloria West
Courtesy of ASV Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Complicated, powerful and intriguing
3 June 2000 | by FlickJunkie-2See all my reviews

This is an engrossing tale of love, passion and betrayal invloving three star-crossed lovers. Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) is a man haunted by jealousy and pain over an affair he had with the wife of one of his friends, Henry Miles (Stephen Rea). The affair has been over for two years when a chance encounter with Miles takes Bendrix to his house where he once again encounters Sarah (Julianne Moore). The obsession for her returns when Henry tells him that he suspects that Sarah is having an affair. At hearing this Maurice gets jealous, thinking that he has been replaced as her paramour. What follows is a complex and tangled web of suspicion, jealousy and dolor.

This is a wonderfully complicated story that opens slowly like a flower. It is a first person narrative delivered by Bendrix and it gets more intriguing as the film progresses. The use of flashbacks is subtlety effective, where the realizations about misinterpretations come not from the dialogue, but from seeing the same scene from two perspectives. The love scenes are sensuously done and the general tone of the film is poignant and sensitive.

The film was nicely photographed with various filters to give it an old feel without losing the richness. Director Neil Jordan did a fine job of giving the film a genuine look of the period with proper English costumes from the 1940's.

Ralph Fiennes was excellent as the jealous lover. He played the character as civilized and staid with molten lava just beneath the surface. He was masterful at conveying strong emotion with a sideways glance or hand gesture without losing his composure.

Julianne Moore has added another fabulous dramatic performance to her resume as Sarah. She played the part with fatalistic passion, victimized by vortex of events she felt powerless to control.

Stephen Rea also shined as the impassive cuckold. Rea tends to be very understated in his portrayals, often too much so. But he was the perfect choice for the hapless Miles; so intellectual, withdrawn and defenseless. His phlegmatic response upon being confronted by Bendrix about their affair, showed a resigned helplessness that was both pathetic and believable.

I enjoyed this film immensely and gave it a 9/10. It is finespun yet powerful. It takes its time unfolding, so if you like pace this film might test your patience. But if you enjoy a good old fashioned steamy love triangle, this film will do nicely.


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