Divorced and retired, Tony Webster, an aging Londoner and vintage camera shop owner, whittles down the solitude of his isolated existence by keeping an affectionate relationship with his ex-wife, Margaret, and by accompanying his nearly full-term pregnant daughter, Susie, to antenatal courses. However, the unexpected arrival of an unsettling letter will disrupt the fine balance of things in Tony's orderly life, reconnecting him with his first love from college, Veronica, and the nostalgic, yet clouded memories of a distant past. Inevitably, as Tony scavenges for bits and pieces through flashbacks, the out-of-focus picture of his youth will gradually sharpen, nevertheless, is he ready to face the truth?Written by
At a festival screening in San Francisco, Ritesh Batra said that he had tea with Julian Barnes, author of The Sense of an Ending, ahead of filming. Batra was so nervous at meeting Barnes that he subsequently forgot most of their conversation, save for Barnes's parting line, spoken in jest: "Go ahead and betray me." See more »
At the dinner scene set in the 1960s Sarah Ford (Emily Mortimer) quotes from Larkin's poem Aubade. This poem was not published until December 1977. See more »
How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we embellish, adjust, make sly cuts?
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Based on the Booker Prize-winning novella by Julian Barnes (which I have read), inevitably this film adaptation is different from the original work. The structure of the book was a section of the (unreliable) narrator's time at school and university followed by the present day coming to terms with revelations of that earlier period. The film is set in the present with lots of flash-backs to the past and that works well.
More questionably, the movie version of "The Sense Of An Ending" has a different ending which is not that of the author Julian Barnes or even that of the scriptwriter, the playwright Nick Payne, but essentially that of the director, Indian film-maker Ritesh Batra (who made the delightful work "The Lunchbox"). The film offers us a conclusion which is more definitive and more upbeat that the novel but that is perhaps the nature of this different medium.
"The Sense Of An Ending" is slow and serious but not all films can be "Fast And Furious". The pacing allows the viewer to admire the wonderful acting, primarily from Jim Broadbent as the narrator, retired and divorced Tony Webster, but also from some fine actresses, notably Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter and Emily Mortimer, plus some new young actors.
Like the source novel, this film is a challenging and moving examination of the malleability of memory. As Tony puts it: 'How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts?' How often indeed ...
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