Do we really know our loved ones?
Jim Broadbent’s divorced sixtysomething Tony leads an existence of curmudgeonly contentment until the arrival of a lawyer’s letter stirs up memories of his school and university days, and his tangled friendships with brilliant classmate Adrian and first love Veronica.
This adroit adaptation of Julian Barnes’ Booker Prize-winning novel The Sense of an Ending starts out as a fairly low-key portrait of mundane middle-class London life and turns into a gripping psychological mystery as Broadbent’s self-absorbed, emotionally myopic protagonist slowly unpicks his flawed memories of his younger self.
Broadbent is on fine crotchety form. And he gets excellent support from Harriet Walter (Tony’s patient ex-wife), Michelle Dockery (his pregnant daughter) and Charlotte Rampling (the older Veronica), whose presence calls to mind 45 Years, another recent British film in which middle-class characters in late-middle age come to count the cost of raking over the past.
Certificate 15. Runtime 108 mins. Director Ritesh Batra
The Sense of an Ending available on Digital Download. Released on Blu-ray & DVD on 14 August by StudioCanal.