Last year, while dining with an old friend at the Assembly House, Norwich’s delicious Georgian gem, we stumbled upon the making of ’45 Years’ starring Sixties starlets, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtney. I caught the ravishing Ms Rampling rushing past in a dressing gown as I emerged from the little boy’s room. It was quite a shock, I can tell you. So when the film recently came to town, we went to see what we had inadvertently gatecrashed. I’m so glad we did. Filmed entirely in Norfolk and around Norwich, 45 Years tells the story of long-buried secrets disinterred with devastating consequences just days before a 45th wedding anniversary. Atmospheric and suffocating, comforting certainties are chipped away to reveal a marriage un-fulfilled. Norfolk’s low wintry skies, normally big and uplifting, only add to the bleak claustrophobia. Both Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtney are superb.
45 Years is a very British film. There are no Hollywood moments, no overwrought emotions, no final redemption, just the stoicism of a seemingly rock solid relationship in silent crisis. Classy and brilliant.