Sad Old White People – 45 Years (2015)

Happy anniversary.  So this is about an older couple (Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay) that are planning a big party for their 45th wedding anniversary.  During the week leading up to the big celebration, they get news about the past that completely shifts where their future is headed and changes their entire marriage, perhaps irrevocably.  Now I knew very little about this prior to sitting down to watch this other than the Best Actress nomination this received for Rampling.  It is her movie to sell, and I think both leads do well in their respective roles.  This is quality, and I don’t mean to sound ageist, but I do think this stands a better chance of connecting with you if you are an older person.

1There’s a lot of reflecting on the past, as you can probably imagine.

There is definitely an audience for this, and while I may not be the target demographic per se, I could appreciate it, if only for the subtly.  If you are an Oscar junkie like I am, I would say that this is a lot like 2012’s Amour, but a lot less cynical.  You can tell that when the news is broken that it affects them both, but they both process it in radically different ways.  It’s also interesting to watch play out, as the tiptoe around the actual issue at hand and lie to themselves as far as what they believe is actually going on, a psychological item that I find fascinating, and is usually tackled in Alexander Payne movies.

2There may be smiles, but this is not a happy party.

This is a movie that is all about how one reacts when they realize that they were unknowingly the silver medal.  There is much waxing philosophical, but it all feels honest.  The only tricky part I found about this is that you probably know couples in real life that have been through rougher spots in their relationships, especially if you are a younger person.  This makes age and maturity so important if you wanted to stand the best chance of connecting with this as possible, but even still, I had a reaction like “I’ve seen worse”.  I had to kind of put myself in an older person’s shoes when I watch it, and it does work.  At a very quick hour and half, I was able to like it, but failed to love it.  I recommend you watch this and make up your mind for yourself.

45 Years (2015) ***1/2

– Critic for Hire


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