I looked for this film for several months. I was late to see it in the cinemas and I could not find it online. This week I found it on one of these shabby sites, those ones you think are going to ruin your device for good with the most horrible virus ever, but still you want to risk it. I always feel guilty for watching movies online for free, it is just so easy. Then I bought a cinema membership card which I pay every month and I try to go as often as I can to the cinema. This way I can wash my conscience a little bit. Or I think I do.
45 Years. A simple film yet so powerful. A couple in their late sixties. They are going to celebrate their 45th year of marriage.
The film describes the five days before the celebration. In those five days we discover many things about this couple, who at first sight look like the perfect old couple with so many moments shared, happy and sad, and still they are together, side by side. The film shows us in exquisite little every-day postcards, how love transforms itself with time. Beautiful images recur every day describing the lethargic routine of a retired childless couple; morning walks, post reading at breakfast, lunch with other retired friends, dinner with a glass of wine, intimate conversations on the sofa before going to bed.
Then something happened, a totally unexpected letter arrives bringing along a ghost from the past. I do not want to spoil the plot for you, so I will try to be very vague about the story. I would like to talk though about the painful beauty of the scene with her watching the old photos on a projector in the attic. I think this is one of the most powerful scenes of recent cinema.
I don’t need to mention the outstanding performance of Charlotte Rampling, because I am sure you have heard she has been nominated for the popular and deceiving Oscar award of ‘Best Actress’. She deserves more than an Oscar though, and therefore she won the much more serious Silver Berlin Bear.
This is definitely one of those films that makes you think. Those few ones that still the next day you wake up thinking about the movie. The film is striking due to its horrible honesty, any of us can feel identified with the suffering of the main characters, either him or her.
Everybody can take along his own private message. I took several with me. One is that the truth is not always necessary in a couple. Even if the other person begs you to tell them the truth, in many cases it is not worth it. Because it can ruin a whole story, a moment of truth can ruin 45 years.
Cover photo: ‘A human without a mate is like a sentence without a verb’ (Adam Ash). Oslo in June, Beppe Simone CC BY-SA