The Sense of an Ending

"Very Good"

The Sense of an Ending Review


Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored by a terrific performance from Jim Broadbent. With an unusually realistic depiction of London life, this an introspective story about finding closure, and it's nice that the filmmakers avoid ramping up the narrative to push a big emotional climax. Instead, it's in the small moments that the film rings true.

Broadbent plays Tony, a pensioner who runs a small camera shop as a hobby. His primary distraction is his single daughter Susie (Michelle Dockery), who is in the final stages of pregnancy. So Tony and his ex-wife Margaret (Harriet Walter) are providing whatever support they can. Then out of the blue he is notified of an inheritance from someone in his distant past. This sends him down memory lane, as he remembers his life as a university student (then Billy Howle), falling in love with Veronica (Freya Mavor) and feeling crushed when she fell for his best friend Adrian (Joe Alwyn) instead. So Tony tracks down Veronica (now Charlotte Rampling) in the present day to try to sort out their loose ends.

This is a complex story about how tricky it is to make sense of a messy past. The film refuses to simplify things in any way, leaving the audience to see themselves in the characters and situations as it flickers back and forth between the two timelines, dropping hints and details until the final piece falls into the puzzle. And the message is that you can't get closure until you accept even the more difficult elements of your story.

Broadbent delivers one of his most resonant performances yet, which is saying quite a lot. Tony is a nice guy who knows that he's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he's doing the best he can. His reunion with Rampling's tetchy Veronica is played beautifully, never lapsing into pushy emotions. Both characters are reluctant to open up their past feelings, and as they do they find unexpected fallout. Walter's role is more openly confrontational, in a likeable way. And the flashback sequences offer another set of engaging roles for the younger cast.

The film's tightly wound emotions eliminate any sense of dramatic momentum in the plot. Even the big final revelation feels almost offhanded, carrying a kick that's more instructional than visceral. Instead, this is a superbly crafted movie about the journey we take through life, and how important it is to try to make some sense of the debris we leave along the way.

Watch the trailer for The Sense Of An Ending:



The Sense of an Ending

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th March 2017

Box Office USA: $1,031,040.00

Distributed by: CBS Films

Production compaines: BBC Films, FilmNation Entertainment, Origin Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ritesh Batra

Producer: Ed Rubin, David M. Thompson

Starring: as Tony Webster, as Margaret, as Susie, as Veronica Ford, Billy Howle as Young Tony, as Adrian Finn, Freya Mavor as Young Veronica, as Jack Ford, Attila G. Kerekes as Pie & Mash Guest, Nick Mohammed as Danny, as Abigail, Marcus Payne as Adrian's Flatmate, as Victor, Mark Brent as Steve, Leigh Dent as Hospital Receptionist, Gregor Babic as Security Guard, Marco Staines as 6th Form Student, Paul Croft as Man by River, Charlotte Nichol as Shopper, Tashann Barnett as National Theatre Waitress

Contactmusic


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