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The Sense of an Ending (2017)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery | 10 March 2017 (USA)
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1:57 | Trailer
A man becomes haunted by his past and is presented with a mysterious legacy that causes him to re-think his current situation in life.

Director:

Ritesh Batra

Writers:

Julian Barnes (novel), Nick Payne (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Broadbent ... Tony Webster
Charlotte Rampling ... Veronica Ford
Harriet Walter ... Margaret Webster
Michelle Dockery ... Susie Webster
Matthew Goode ... Mr. Hunt
Emily Mortimer ... Sarah Ford
James Wilby ... David Ford
Edward Holcroft ... Jack Ford
Billy Howle ... Young Tony
Freya Mavor ... Young Veronica
Joe Alwyn ... Adrian Finn
Peter Wight ... Colin Simpson
Hilton McRae Hilton McRae ... Alex Stuart
Jack Loxton Jack Loxton ... Young Colin Simpson
Timothy Innes ... Young Alex Stuart
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Storyline

Divorced and retired, Tony Webster, an aging Londoner and vintage camera shop owner, whittles down the solitude of his isolated existence by keeping an affectionate relationship with his ex-wife, Margaret, and by accompanying his nearly full-term pregnant daughter, Susie, to antenatal courses. However, the unexpected arrival of an unsettling letter will disrupt the fine balance of things in Tony's orderly life, reconnecting him with his first love from college, Veronica, and the nostalgic, yet clouded memories of a distant past. Inevitably, as Tony scavenges for bits and pieces through flashbacks, the out-of-focus picture of his youth will gradually sharpen, nevertheless, is he ready to face the truth? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Unravel the Truth.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, a violent image, sexuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Sentido do Fim See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,692, 12 March 2017

Gross USA:

$1,274,420

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,081,495
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Broadbent previously starred with Peter Wight, Oliver Maltman and Karina Fernandez in Mike Leigh's Another Year. See more »

Goofs

Young Tony affixes a 'first-class' stamp to his fateful letter, sent in 1967. This sort of stamp was not produced for another 26 years (in 1993). See more »

Quotes

Tony Webster: [Voice over] When you are young you want your emotions to be like the ones you read about in books. You want them to overturn your life and create a new reality. But as that second hand insists on speeding up and time delivers us all too quickly into middle age and then old age, that's when you want something a little milder, don't you? You want your emotions to support your life as it has become. You want them to tell you that everything is going to be okay. And is there anything wrong with ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adelaide's Silver Screens (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Soul Serene (Live)
Written by Conor O'Brien
Performed by Villagers (as Villagers)
Published by Damira Publishing Company Ltd.
Licensed courtesy of Damira Recording Company Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
a slow introspective study of how we make sense of our lives
28 May 2017 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

Everyone is a storyteller in their own way. Some use the big screen, others a book or a painter's canvas, but most of us tell stories to ourselves. In 1967, acclaimed literary theorist Professor Frank Kermode published a seminal book called The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction. He argued that we all internally write the fictions of our lives into a coherent pattern so things appear to have a logical beginning, a middle and an ending. We do this for one simple reason: to make it possible to "coexist with temporal chaos" and to "humanise the common death". This philosophical insight inspired the 2011 Julian Barnes novel of the same name that is now adapted in the film The Sense of an Ending (2017). Joining these dots help us to understand what this film is about.

The film plot is simple but the story complex. Retired divorcée Tony (Jim Broadbent) is known as a curmudgeon by his ex-wife Margaret (Harriet Walter) and daughter Suzie (Michelle Dockery). He busies himself in his tiny shop selling second-hand Leica cameras when one day a lawyer's letter arrives that reopens memories of his first love. What follows is a jigsaw of glimpses into an old man's obsessive quest for redemption as he becomes haunted by an act of spite that he believes led to the suicide of his best friend. When he renews contact with his first love Veronica (Charlotte Rampling) he must confront unresolved emotions that were buried beneath the fictions he has constructed about his life.

This slow and serious film is not for everyone. Younger people are too busy making memories to be rewriting the story of their lives. Older audiences will recognise what Tony is experiencing and empathise with his need for a 'sense of an ending'. Despite the film's stellar cast and fine acting, none of the characters are especially likable, so it is possible to leave this film disengaged with the people while having been thoroughly immersed in the story. This is a well-directed dialogue-driven film. Its multiple flashbacks capture the disjointed half recalled fragments that many of us store as life memories. Most of all, it is an introspective and insightful essay on how we make sense of our lives.


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