- The Sense of an Ending review by MH
Spoiler alert: Victor Meldrew review coming up.
If you are a Jim Broadbent fan then you will no doubt enjoy this, as there is a lot of Jim being . . . well, Jim Broadbent. Seen one of his films, you've seen them all. I find his customary film persona intensely irritating, and spend most of the time wanting to slap him. So self-absorbed, so unable to relate to other people and their needs, so generally clueless. I chose to try to overcome this because of the several other good actors billed, and on the recommendation of a newspaper critic whose opinion I usually find useful.
The story is muddled and told in a series of flashbacks to his student days, many of them (the flashbacks) repeated 2, 3 or even 4 times, and a couple of them confusingly shown with Broadbent as his present day character inserted into the earlier scene. There is the occasional clue as to things that are happening which are never elaborated on, requiring some intelligent guess-work on the part of the viewer (perhaps I'm not intelligent enough - there is also a suicide, the reason for which I couldn't work out).
The main female character in youth is enigmatic to the point of being boring, and Charlotte Rampling, who has made a career out of being inscrutable without actually acting, does her usual thing.
Michelle Dockery sports a huge and completely unnatural-looking pregnancy bump, while her character adds nothing to the story.
I saw it in a cinema and the man next to me got up and left about halfway through, swiftly followed by a couple in the back row. I should have followed their example - 2 hours of my life wasted.
Cinema Paradiso has a huge catalogue of really good films - I advise you to choose another.
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
- The Sense of an Ending review by JW
great character development over a life time. being middle aged my self and having spent some time contemplating the past found this film delightful, entertaining and helpful all at the same time. Very well put together by great film makers.
5 out of 6 members found this review helpful.
You had to have been there properly to understand
- The Sense of an Ending review by LF
Those who did not live through the 1950s, 60s and 70s are likely to appreciate this fine film less than an older audience. You need to have known what it was like not to have easy and instant communication, not to have the acceptance of sexual freedom, not to have equality, not to have even the language in which to discuss how you felt and thought, let alone the societal permission to do so. You need to have carried the weight of expectations of behaviour and relationships that are unthinkable by today's young, and you need to have had your heart broken, to have lost touch, to have lived a life and then, in your later years, to have tried to work out what it was really all about. Somebody younger, who is interested and aware, could and should enjoy the film, not least for the delicacy with which the story is expressed. Older viewers will not need to have it explained.
6 out of 8 members found this review helpful.