This is a nuanced and interesting film revealing how the past can profoundly influence how one perceives the present. The movie required superb acting from the two leads, and the Director (Andrew Haigh) succeeds in making this happen.
Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtney) are a childless couple who seem to have had a wonderful marriage. They live in rural England and are enjoying their retirement. They don’t make love often anymore, but they still love each other deeply. They will have been married 45 years in one week’s time and have a big party planned with their families and close friends to celebrate the occasion.
One week before the party, Geoff receives a letter informing him that his prior girlfriend’s body (Katya) has been found. While he and Katya were hiking in the Swiss Alps, nearly 50 years ago, Katya suddenly fell into a crevice in a glacier and disappeared. Her body hadn’t been found until now! This tragic incident occurred years prior to Geoff ever meeting Kate, although he had never revealed much to Kate about Katya, especially how serious their relationship had been.
Understandably, this news triggers in Geoff powerful grief feelings about Katya. At first, Kate tries to be supportive, but soon becomes so upset by the obvious intensity of Geoff’s feelings that she tells him she can’t talk about her anymore. Apparently, Kate thought she was the love of Geoff’s life, but now she isn’t sure. Geoff’s reassurance that he loves her and his relationship with Katya has nothing to do with their relationship doesn’t console her at all.
This film involves the week’s time between the receipt of the letter and the anniversary party, exploring the subtle shifts in their relationship with each passing day. It’s worth seeing for the great acting alone, but I anticipate that you will find yourself thinking about the film long after it ends, (although not for 45 years).