Each week we’re recommending a movie from the film lover’s favorite home video company, Criterion. The Criterion Collection is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions of the highest technical quality with supplemental features that enhance the appreciation of the art of film. This week, 45 Years.
In this exquisitely calibrated film, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay perform a subtly off-kilter pas de deux as Kate and Geoff, an English couple who, on the eve of an anniversary celebration, find their long marriage shaken by the arrival of a letter to Geoff that unceremoniously collapses his past into their shared present.
Director Andrew Haigh carries the tradition of British realist cinema to artful new heights in 45 Years, weaving the momentous into the mundane as the pair go about their daily lives, while the evocatively flat, wintry Norfolk landscape frames their struggle to maintain an increasingly untenable status quo.
Loosely adapting a short story by David Constantine, Haigh shifts the focus from the slightly erratic Geoff to Kate, eliciting a remarkable, nuanced portrayal by Rampling of a woman’s gradual metamorphosis from unflappable wife to woman undone.
- Audio commentary featuring Haigh and producer Tristan Goligher
- New documentary featuring interviews with Haigh, Goligher, actors Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, editor Jonathan Alberts, and director of photography Lol Crawley
- New interview with David Constantine, author of the short story on which the film is based
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing