Entries tagged with “Charlotte Rampling”.


The Sense of an Ending‘ is quite a demanding film. Its target audience is the mature + age, those who have in their minds and souls enough memories that have had the time to be forgotten or intentionally buried. It also demands some patience, as its characters, as many, probably most people in life, do not reveal themselves immediately and are neither exuberant, not very empathetic. It takes time to discover the human motivations of many of us, it takes cinematographic time to discover characters like the one of Tony Webster, the quasi-retired owner of a small shop of vintage cameras in London, who once aspired to become a poet. But then, in cinema as in life, you may be highly rewarded.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4827986/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4827986/

 

The story, inspired by the Man Booker Prize-winning novel by , puts on screen a slow build-up of the young days of the main hero, who suddenly receives a small heritage from the mother of his ex-girlfriend, probably the great unfulfilled love of his university years. The almost forgotten affair with a girl named Veronica from presumably a higher class family is discovered by viewers and re-discovered by Tony, as his memories come back, some of them extracted with difficulty, exposed because of the need to share and despite the will to leave some of them forgotten. Actions in the past have had unknown consequences on the lives of other. Veronica was some kind of a mystery for the young man, maybe because of the class differences, maybe because men never fully understand women, or maybe because some dark family secrets that are never fully revealed and do not become more evident even after 40 or more years. The ambiguity of the details is part of the reason I liked the story, as in life out of books and screens not everything can and will be explained. However, the pieces of the puzzle come together and build for the hero and for the viewers an alternate, even if partial, version of the past. The final moral of the story is that changing the past can change the present or even the future. We are not only what we wish to be, we are also what our memories determine to make of us.

 

(video source StudiocanalUK)

 

The British style of living and being, its discretion and understatements fit so well this story. Director is only at his second big screens film. I hear that his debut in India with ‘The Lunchbox‘ was kind of a sensation. He succeeds to lead with skill his wonderful team of actors, plays well the card of ambiguity, and seems to understand to details the soul and dilemmas of the characters. Attention however, it’s also a personal story, so what we see on screen is always what the hero, Tony Webster sees, what we know is what he can and in some cases chooses to remember. is a wonderful actor and succeeds with talent and discretion in the lead role, even avoiding from us to become to engaged with him until he deserves it. I can be only sorry that spends so little time on screen in this film, she is an artist I love and respect. Keeping the mystery around her character is however what was required by the script and needed here. The only more severe fault that I could find is that the younger actors playing the decades back flashback episodes do not resemble in physiognomies or characters their older selves. I could not recognize at all ones in the others. This gap left apart, ‘The Sense of an Ending‘ provided me with one of the most sensible and thoughts-provoking cinema experiences lately.

When he is not making provocative statements at news conferences  makes movies. Some of them are shocking. Some of them are stunning. I did not like all his films (Dogville was too dry an experiment for me) and I am yet to see Nymphomaniac. Melancholia however falls in the category of those films of his which I love – together with the TV series The Kingdom and with Breaking the Waves. Many film makers dealt with the end of the world (and some with what comes after). The majority of them made catastrophic movies – in all sense you want to consider this. Lars van Trier made a poetic and amazingly beautiful film.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1527186/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1527186/

 

The film is divided in two parts, each deals closer with one of the two sisters belonging to a very rich and a troubled family living in a mansion surrounded by green pastures, with servants and black horses, with telescopes to entertain the hobby of watching the stars. Justine, the younger sister () gets married in the first part. It’s an unusual marriage, and the bride does not seem too happy about the event. Her behavior is close to erratic, and the aristocratic wedding party turns into a failure. Is she sick by the kind of mental depression that centuries ago was called melancholy? Does the mysterious planet in the sky that at some point covers one of the stars have any influence or connection with her state?

The second part focuses first on the other, elder sister, Claire (). She is apparently the more mature of the two and controls the situation the day after and a few months after the breaking of the party, when Justine, in a visibly deteriorating state comes to the mansion. The mysterious gas planet now appears to be on collision path with Earth, or maybe not, as scientists and John, Charlotte’s husband () believe. Soon the balance will be reversed, as the death dance played by the planets becomes more and more menacing. Justine, the younger sister who first felt the power of the planets will regain control and find the magic to face the inevitable, Claire will be the one to slide into despair, while John will be unable to use the rational, scientific approach to explain or cope with what happens.

 

(video source triviatrailers)

 

This film is about the power of stars, about the irrelevance of the social relations when compared with the cosmic dimensions, about sanity and insanity and the balance between them. It’s fascinating and its beauty has the source in the splendid cinematography (by Manuel Alberto Claro) , in the superb cast (besides Dunst and Gainsbourg, a few other remarkable actors appear in the first half of the film – , , ). It’s simply the most beautiful film about the end of the world that I have seen, or even better – the most beautiful end of the world brought on screen.