The sense of an ending

The sense of an ending has the advantages of dealing in both the present and the not too distant past. When Tony Webster (the always superb Jim Broadbent) gets the news that Sarah Ford has died, and that he has inherited some money and the diary of his old pal, Adrian Finn (Joe Alwyn). Sarah was Veronica‘s mother. Veronica was Tony’s first love. He only met Sarah once, so why would she bequeath him anything? And what was she doing with Adrian’s diary. It’s very intriguing to Tony. Furthermore, when he learns that Veronica refuses to hand out the diary, Tony wants to meet her. Tony Webster is now in his sixties and lives in London. His thirtysomething daughter, Susie (Downton Abbey‘s Michelle Dockery) is pregnant and Tony is accompanying her at her prenatal classes. Tony still maintains a friendly relationship with his ex-wife, Margaret (Harriet Walter). It is through his conversations with Margaret that we will find out what happened 40 years ago. The first meeting with Veronica (Freya Mayor). Tony (played in his youth by Billy Howle) is then invited to spend a week-end with the Fords, where he meets the seductive and enigmatic Sarah Ford. With a few deft brush strokes, Emily Mortimer paints a powerful and delicate portrait of a lonely, bored, on the verge of depression, bourgeois housewife, sexy and full of life who is enjoying the fun of having Tony’s lively presence as a distraction. At school, Adrian Finn is one Tony friends. When news comes that a boy committed suicide, Adrian seems to romanticized the boy’s action. Forty years later, Tony gets to see Veronica (now played by Charlotte Rampling) again. It brings up more questions than it answers. This labyrinthine plot is from a Julian Barnes novel. It s a good screenplay that eliminates most of the confusions with its “no fuss” approach. It is helped by Indian director Ritesh Bitra who has a fine eye to the small details of daily life. It’s fun to watch good actor having a great time with this material. Rampling is making sure that Veronica remains a mystery, as she should be. Jim Broadbent and Harriet Walter have the best moments. Their playful teasing is fun to watch and credible. Although it is not a masterpiece, The sense of an ending is good and fun enough to recommend.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

The sense of an ending

Directed by:
Ritesh Bitra

Screenplay by:
Nick Payne
Based on the novel by Julian Barnes

Starring:
Jim Broadbent
Harriet Walter
Billy Howle
Emily Mortimer
Charlotte Rampling
Michelle Dockery
Joe Alwyn
Freya Mayor
Matthew Goode

108 min.

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