A Sense of an Ending 2017 ***

Julian Barnes’s slim novella was a Man Booker Prize winner, and has obvious cinematic potential; it’s a long slow burn as we delve into the past, with a pay-off that’s humbling and painful. Ritesh Batra’s film captures ably the mood of the book; Jim Broadbent is ideal as Tony Webster, a London camera shop owner. A letter brings back memories of his teenage relationship with Margaret (Charlotte Rampling), and a counter-narrative about how they met is unfolded as Tony seeks Margaret out. A sensitive and more literate movie than most, A Sense of an Ending is an ideal way to approach the book; it nails the story down in a cinematic way, and a few anachronisms are forgivable due to budget restraints. Not for sensation seekers, A Sense of an Ending is an effective adaptation that deserved better than the minimal release it got; the young cast, including Billy Howie, Jack Alwyn and Freya Mavor should help it reach the next generation of film-goers who demand a little intellectual meat in the fare.


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