Terence Davies directs Terence Rattigan in an adaptation of a play that is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Rachel Weisz plays the wife of a High Court judge who embarks on a passionate relationship with an ex-RAF pilot (Tom Hiddleston) with has a drinking problem.
It may not seem like the most promising of material, but Davies finds something tender and painful at the heart of a story which is, in a sense, a variation on Brief Encounter.
Hester Collyer is a woman living in an era when doing your own thing (ie having an affair as a married woman) was not the done thing. But her real folly is to fall in love with a man who has no real interest in her; and worse still, to know that and still go ahead anyway. Her husband (Simon Russell Beale) is not a bad or vicious man. On the contrary he is kind and solicitous. Her lover Freddie, on the other hand, is shallow, self-centred and has no plans to stick around. So Hester is caught in a predicament of her own making, but is in no less trouble for that reason.
Terence Davies is one of the most sensuous of directors, with a camera that swirls, and an ear for music that captures the spirit of an ear. The cast is outstanding, and although this may not be everyone's cup of tea, I enjoyed it immensely.
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