March 22, 2017

The Sense of an Ending Review

Charlotte Rampling and Jim Broadbent

The Sense of an Ending is much more captivating than its trailers imply. Jim Broadbent, wearing a skeptical goatee, stars as curmudgeonly Tony Webster, whose past comes back to haunt him when he reconnects with an old girlfriend (Charlotte Rampling). However, it is way more complicated than that logline. Years ago, tragedy resulted after young Tony (Billy Howle, in a role tailor-made for 2013 Eddie Redmayne) wrote a nasty letter to his ex, Veronica (lovely young Freya Mavor), and his friend, Adrian Finn (Joe Alwyn, whom I did not recognize as Billy from Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk). But old Tony does not recall the events, or, at least, that story is not the one he tells his ex-wife (Harriet Walter). 

Michelle Dockery needlessly appears as Tony’s pregnant daughter. Director Ritesh Batra and screenwriter Nick Payne recount Julian Barnes’ slight (in page count) novel about the lies we tell ourselves and how we eventually convince ourselves they are the truth. The Sense of an Ending breaks no barriers, but certainly will intrigue viewers until the end credits.