45 YEARS (director/writer: Andrew Haigh; screenwriter: based on the story “In Another Country” by David Constantine; cinematographer: Lol Crawley; editor: Jonathan Alberts; cast: Charlotte Rampling (Kate Mercer), Tom Courtenay (Geoff Mercer), Geraldine James (Lena), Dolly Wells (Charlotte), David Sibley (George), Sam Alexander (Chris the postman), Richard Cunningham (Mr. Watkins ); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Tristan Goligher; Artificial Eye; 2015-UK)
“A provocative but quiet drama.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

British writer-director Andrew Haigh (“Greek Pete“/”Weekend“/”Looking“) helms this classy, subdued, art-house Brit indie drama. It’s set in the flat English countryside and tells about a long-time marriage suddenly in crisis. It’s based on the 2005 short story “In Another Country” by David Constantine.

Kate (Charlotte Rampling, 68-year-old) and Geoff Mercer (Tom Courtenay, 77-year-old) are a retired childless Brit couple living in scenic rural Norfolk, who in one week will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. During this time period the genial Geoff is notified by mail that the Swiss authorities have discovered the body of his former German girlfriend Katya preserved in a Swiss glacier, who 50 years age fell to her death while hiking in the mountains. Kate is at first supportive of the agitated Geoff’s plan to visit the site, but a series of revelations, like the wealthy Katya was actually engaged to Geoff and listed him as her next of kin, gives her pause. The startling news brings about a number of life-changing sequences for the long-time couple, including making Kate jealous of the former flame and bringing up the resentment she always had for her insensitive hubby that remained dormant until now.

The result is a provocative but quiet drama, well-acted, and filled with subtle touches that are so potent that they can impinge on what seemed like a successful marriage.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”