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On Chesil Beach

  • Drama
  • Music
  • 2017
  • Dominic Cooke
  • 105 mins
  • 15

Summary

Romantic drama starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle. In the early 1960s, a young couple meet, fall in love and marry. However, on their honeymoon a series of unspoken personal issues threatens to ruin their life together.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Ian McEwan's 2007 novella is the basis for this well-acted but curiously overstretched period drama, set in the grim, grey Britain of Philip Larkin's nightmares. The year is 1962, and newlyweds Florence (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward (Billy Howle) have checked into a "posh" Dorset hotel that has clearly seen better days. The honeymoon meal is excruciating enough, served by two inept, tip-seeking waiters, but the couple's fumbling attempts to get intimate take the relationship to breaking point. In between, director Dominic Cooke refers back to the various high points of the couple's courtship, all of which sketch in valuable details in each lover's back story - she comes from money, he from the sticks; she plays in a string quartet, he likes the blues. Such character notes are light and sensitive, notably when Florence endears herself to Edward's brain-damaged mother. But after the fireworks ignite, the film still has a way to go, muddling to a curious, pat ending that raises more questions than it answers.

Credits

Cast

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Florence PontingSaoirse Ronan
Edward MayhewBilly Howle
Marjorie MayhewAnne-Marie Duff
Lionel MayhewAdrian Scarborough
Violet PontingEmily Watson
Geoffrey PontingSamuel West
Ruth PontingBebe Cave
TedOliver Johnstone
BobPhilip Labey
PhilJonjo O'Neill

Crew

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DirectorDominic Cooke

Details

Theatrical distributor
Lionsgate
Released on
2018-05-18
Languages
English
Guidance
sex scenes
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour

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