The Sense of an Ending

Poster for The Sense of an Ending

Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox) directs this adaptation of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel by Julian Barnes about a love triangle and its consequences over several decades.

Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent, The Lady in the Van, Brooklyn), a mildly grumpy but mentally alert and self-deprecating septuagenarian lives comfortably enough while maintaining a hole-in-the-wall camera store that exclusively stocks second-hand Leicas. He rather uselessly accompanies his heavily pregnant lesbian daughter, Susie (Michelle Dockery, Anna Karenina and TV’s Downton Abbey), to birthing class and seems devoid of any consuming interests or close friends.

There is a quiet obsession behind the hyper-specificity of Tony’s inventory. Back in the mid-1960s, his first love Veronica (Freya Mavor, Sunshine on Leith) introduced him to the Leica brand before running off with his best friend Adrian (Joe Alwyn), causing a wound Tony still carries, 50 years on.

A last will and testament thrusts Veronica (now played by Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years, The Invisible Woman) back into Tony’s life after decades apart, where he finds her as enigmatic as ever. Tony has inherited Adrian’s diary but Veronica refuses to hand the possibly revelatory pages over. The reappearance of so many old ghosts pitches Tony into his own past, where he must confront both his lack of closure and his own role in a forgotten tragedy he and Veronica share.

“The lineup of fine actors keenly registers minute details about the passage of time with humor, wisdom and a sharp sense of how moments of rash or just misguided behavior can forever dictate a life’s path.” (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter)

“More than anything, The Sense of an Ending reinforces Batra as a keen observer of small moments.” (Steve Greene, IndieWire)