7.0/10
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150 user 286 critic

45 Years (2015)

Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receives shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives.

Director:

Andrew Haigh

Writers:

Andrew Haigh, David Constantine (short story "In Another Country")
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlotte Rampling ... Kate Mercer
Tom Courtenay ... Geoff Mercer
Geraldine James ... Lena
Dolly Wells ... Sally
David Sibley David Sibley ... George
Sam Alexander Sam Alexander ... Chris The Postman
Richard Cunningham ... Mr Watkins
Hannah Chalmers ... Travel Agent
Camille Ucan ... Café Waitress
Rufus Wright ... Jake
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Storyline

Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff Mercer (Sir Tom Courtenay) 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 Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Do we really know our loved ones?

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 August 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

45 años See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$65,775, 27 December 2015

Gross USA:

$4,247,285

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,430,249
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In this movie, the couple's first and now dead dog's name is Tessa. Charlotte Rampling's first name is Tessa. Charlotte is her middle name. Writer and Director Andrew Haigh said in an interview that it was just a coincidence. See more »

Goofs

Geoff's friend says he's learning the ukulele (which is a small guitar) with the website Justin Guitar, as it's a good instrument for playing any music - not just George Formby. Although it was often said that Formby played the ukulele, his instrument was in fact a banjolele (a small banjo body with a fretted ukulele neck). See more »

Quotes

Geoff Mercer: What? You really believe you haven't been enough for me?
Kate Mercer: No. I think I was enough for you, I'm just not sure you do.
Geoff Mercer: Oh Kate - that's terrible!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits play like a slide show. Every time before a new name appears on the screen, there is the unmistakable click of a slide projector. See more »

Connections

Featured in Close Up with the Hollywood Reporter: Actresses (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

My Autumn's Done Come
Written by Lee Hazlewood
Performed by Lee Hazlewood
Courtesy of Polydor Records (United States)
Under licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd
Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It feels slow, but '45 Years' is rich in depth of storytelling and acting
21 February 2016 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

The life of an old married couple doesn't exactly sound like riveting cinematic fodder, especially for moviegoers below the age of 65, but "45 Years" captures the mechanics of relationships, mechanics that are universal and span multiple generations.

The greatest indicator that "45 Years" isn't some niche geriatric film is director Andrew Haigh, a much younger director who is best known for making LGBTQ films, namely 2011's "Weekend." So, as someone who isn't a heterosexual senior, Haigh brings a different perspective to this story, along with a lot of grace and brilliant directorial instincts.

"45 Years" introduces us to Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) Mercer one week before their big 45th anniversary party. Although the week begins routine as usual, they receive quite a shock when Geoff gets a letter informing him that the body of a woman whom he loved as a younger man (before he met Kate) who died in an accident had been found (somewhat preserved in ice). The news absolutely rattles Geoff into a rather nostalgic daze, while Kate tries to come to terms with the weight of something she had shrugged off for nearly half a century.

We watch the story unfold from Kate's perspective, which keeps Geoff's thoughts and emotions an enigma and allows us to firmly plant ourselves in Kate's shoes. We also get glimpses of their relationship dynamic, which is powerfully authentic and relatable, adding another layer to what seems like it should be a rather simple conflict to resolve, but grows in chilling complexity.

Haigh's camera is quiet, careful and poised. There are wide shots and close-ups alike, along with methodical zooms, giving the actors — especially Rampling — incredible space to work. The result is a slow and yes, perhaps boring film at times, but if you really focus on the performances, the pacing becomes strangely irrelevant. We are given so much time to dive into Kate's headspace and Rampling provides these incredible cues once we're there.

The best way to describe the flow of "45 Years" is to liken it to a thawing. From the outdoor scenery around their quaint home in the British countryside to the details of Geoff's love "Katya" (notice the name similarity to his current wife) being found in ice, there's a notion that what was frozen in the past has now finally melted, that spring is coming and with it so much more. Kate and Geoff's relationship is at this melting point, and how they handle it will mean everything.

For such a simple film, there's something deeply unsettling about "45 Years" and that achievement alone suggests Haigh has struck some deep chords in this exploration of a relationship. We look to couples who have been married this long for inspiration and comfort, yet Haigh doesn't give it to us, and it raises a lot of really valuable questions. So it might not be easy to enjoy, but "45 Years" is truly a superb film and important character study.

~Steven C

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