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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)
Reviews
Popularity
1,812 ( 267)

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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

The first time Ian McEwan has written a screenplay for his own work. See more »

Connections

Features A Taste of Honey (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
layered, profound and affecting
4 June 2018 | by dave-mcclainSee all my reviews

"On Chesil Beach" (R, 1:50) is a drama from first-time feature film director Dominic Cooke (known mainly for helming TV's "The Hallow Crown" and "National Theater Live: A Comedy of Errors"). The screenplay is by British writer Ian McEwan, adapting his own 2007 novella of the same name. The film stars multiple Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle - and was released one week after another literary adaptation, "The Seagull", in which the same two actors played young Russian lovers. This story follows two young Brits as they meet, fall in love and get married, focusing mainly on the wedding night.

Florence Pointing and Edward Mayhew have just been married and have arrived at a hotel at the titular beach for their honeymoon. Through an uncomfortable dinner in their room and awkward fumblings with their clothes, it becomes painfully clear that they are equally inexperienced and nervous regarding sex. As the evening slowly progresses, we see flashbacks of how their romance developed, with hints at what makes the prospect of sleeping together so uncomfortable for them - especially Florence. When things come to a head, the young marrieds have a seaside conservation which reveals much about who they are (and the era in which they live) and has very important consequences for the rest of their lives.

"On Chesil Beach" is one of the most layered and most profound movies you are likely to see in 2018. Woven in with the development of the romance, the developments on the wedding night and the repercussions of all of it are themes of sexual repression, gender roles, class differences, pride, regret, communication, forgiveness and, of course, love and marriage. Some will say that not much happens in this film, but there is still a whole lot happenING. And through it all, the considerable acting chops of the two leads (bolstered by solid performances from multiple Oscar nominee Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff, Samuel West, Adrian Scarborough and Bebe Cave) make the characters exceedingly sympathetic and relevant. This is a very well-done film without much action, but with plenty to show all of us. "A-"


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