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On Chesil Beach (2017)

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Based on Ian McEwan's novel. In 1962 England, a young couple find their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.

Director:

Dominic Cooke

Writers:

Ian McEwan (screenplay), Ian McEwan (novel)
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Popularity
1,693 ( 40)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Howle ... Edward Mayhew
Saoirse Ronan ... Florence Ponting
Andy Burse Andy Burse ... Waiter One
Rasmus Hardiker ... Waiter Two
Anne-Marie Duff ... Marjorie Mayhew
Adrian Scarborough ... Lionel Mayhew
Mia Burgess Mia Burgess ... Harriet Mayhew
Anna Burgess Anna Burgess ... Anne Mayhew
Emily Watson ... Violet Ponting
Bebe Cave ... Ruth Ponting
Samuel West ... Geoffrey Ponting
John Ramm John Ramm ... Postman Terry
Barney Iley Barney Iley ... Timothy
Mark Donald Mark Donald ... Charles
Imogen Daines ... Jenny
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Storyline

Adapted by Ian McEwan from his bestselling novel, the drama centers on a young couple of drastically different backgrounds in the summer of 1962. Following the pair through their idyllic courtship, the film explores sex and the societal pressure that can accompany physical intimacy, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Anne-Marie Duff, Adrian Scarborough, Emily Watson, and Samuel West.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is how the entire course of a life can be changed: by doing nothing

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Al Khof Chesil See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,765, 20 May 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$745,971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Films,Number 9 Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

-It is Dominic Cooke in his feature directorial debut. See more »

Connections

Features A Taste of Honey (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
On Chesil Beach might be as smooth and glossy as a pebble but gets washed away by soppiness.
4 June 2018 | by TheMovieDioramaSee all my reviews

Having only watched the trailer once and not acknowledging the existence of its source material, I was going into this pretty open minded. Period romantic dramas are not exactly the reason why I wake up in the morning, nevertheless I came out of the screening feeling rather pleasant. It tells the story of a newly married couple who potentially destroy their marriage due to fears of physical intimate relations. Exploring frigidity is rather rare, particularly for a romance because sex sells apparently, and so I found myself compelled to dive into the psychological reasoning for Florence's lack of sexual endeavours. It's a deceptively rich story which has more to say beneath the surface than it does through the clean direction and excellent acting. Cooke's directorial debut offers a tantalising question: can you love someone without having physical interaction? A surprisingly relatable question. Weighing in on the emotional and tangible levels of love, McEwan (who also wrote the novel) crafts a script comprising of subtle warmth. The kind of lukewarm temperature you would feel when dipping your toes into the sea. At first, it may look like a drama shifting between the most awkward sex scene ever and flashbacks establishing the origins of their relationship, but there's more lurking underneath. It's understated. The non-linear narrative, while slightly contrived, does make the story that little bit more exciting. I appreciate the upkeep for authenticity by actually filming on Chesil Beach in Dorset. Ronan and Howle projected natural chemistry and bounced off each other well, even if the execution of some of the dialogue felt too mechanical. The epilogue however was completely unnecessary and negated the nuanced atmosphere that was created beforehand. The forced melodrama, whilst beautiful to watch, just didn't fit with the complexity of their relationship. So whilst there are some stumbles, it's constructed upon layers of pebbles to create a beautifully acted picturesque romance.


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