45 Years

DRAMA; 1hr 35min

STARRING: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay

Life, interrupted: Courtenay and Rampling

Time stands still for the dead and so it does for Katya, the first girlfriend of retired concrete-company executive Geoff Mercer (Courtenay). Katya fell into a crevasse in the Swiss Alps in 1962. Her untouched body has been discovered 50 years later, just as Geoff and his wife, former schoolteacher Kate (Rampling), are about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. The childless Mercers have settled into the comforting routines of late middle age in their Norfolk country home. But when Geoff receives a letter informing him of the discovery of Katya's body, his memories are painfully unnerving — and for Kate, as well. The relationship between Geoff and Katya was so long ago. Yet was it, really, in the life of the mind? 


As Geoff and Kate's partnership is reshaped over one desolating week, writer-director Andrew Haigh's unhurried concern (adapted from a short story by David Constantine) is primarily with the stricken Kate. She must now share her future with a feminine ideal forever frozen in time. With masterful economy of emotion, Rampling and Haigh map out Kate's splintered new world, its contours forever altered by her awareness of what was, and of what will lie ahead.