45 Years is a slow-building, emotional drama that raises thoughtful questions about the past and it’s affect on present day relationships.

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Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Couternay) have been happily married for years… in fact their titular 45th wedding anniversary is approaching as the film begins and they are looking forward to celebrating it. That is until Geoff receives some terrible news that stirs up memories of his life before Kate and threatens all their years of love.

The film keeps everything incredibly simple. Be it bare and bleak set design, the long perfectly framed shots or the subtle performances. The film is a marvel of proper filmmaking… everything seems to be done for a reason and only adds to the films coldness.

The performances of the lead cast are wonderful. Although at the start of the film it does feel like Rampling is over-acting a little and all her movements seem a little forced as the film progresses so does her performance, which during the final scenes is mind-blowing as she conveys more through a look on her face than any dialogue can. Courtenay takes a more subtle approach as his has a backseat throughout the film, stepping forward to show his skill at key points in the wonderfully written script.

45 Years offers such a bleak reflection of reality and relationships that is, at time, hard to watch. There is nothing in the film to be happy about and it’s depressing, reflective mood is infectious to those watching. It leaves an audience in a bleak mood and lingers in your mind for long after. If anything it’s depressing outlook is too much and it leaves you wishing for a glimpse of joy.

7/10