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45 Years

Writer-director Andrew Haigh (Weekend) draws inspiration from David Constantine's short story In Another Country for this beguiling portrait of a long-standing romance in crisis. Retired headmistress Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling) and her husband Geoff (Tom Courtenay) live in a close-knit village in East Anglia, where some of the residents are her former pupils. The Mercers do not have any children, just an Alsatian called Max, which Kate walks around the rural idyll. The tempo of day-to-day life increases as Kate and Geoff prepare to celebrate their 45th anniversary by hosting a dinner for family and friends, which will echo the music and menu of their wedding day. In the run-up to this momentous occasion, Geoff receives a letter from an old flame called Katya, whom he romanced in the early 1960s before he met Kate. The unexpected correspondence sends Geoff into a tailspin of conflicting feelings, opening old wounds and highlighting the fractures in his marriage.