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The Sense of an Ending (2017)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery | 10 March 2017 (USA)
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A man becomes haunted by his past and is presented with a mysterious legacy that causes him to re-think his current situation in life.

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(novel), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tony Webster
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Veronica Ford
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Margaret Webster
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Susie Webster
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Mr. Hunt
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Sarah Ford
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David Ford
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Jack Ford
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Young Tony
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Young Veronica
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Adrian Finn
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Colin Simpson
Hilton McRae ...
Alex Stuart
Jack Loxton ...
Young Colin Simpson
...
Young Alex Stuart
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Storyline

A man becomes haunted by his past and is presented with a mysterious legacy that causes him to re-think his current situation in life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Unravel the truth.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, a violent image, sexuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »

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 »
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Release Date:

10 March 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sentido de un final  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$276,816 (USA) (24 March 2017)

Gross:

$1,235,432 (USA) (31 March 2017)
 »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Broadbent previously starred with Peter Wight, Oliver Maltman and Karina Fernandez in Mike Leigh's Another Year. See more »

Goofs

At the dinner scene set in the 1960s the Emily Mortimer character quotes from Larkin's poem Aubade. This poem was not published until December 1977. See more »

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User Reviews

 
a slow introspective study of how we make sense of our lives
28 May 2017 | by (Sydney) – See all my reviews

Everyone is a storyteller in their own way. Some use the big screen, others a book or a painter's canvas, but most of us tell stories to ourselves. In 1967, acclaimed literary theorist Professor Frank Kermode published a seminal book called The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction. He argued that we all internally write the fictions of our lives into a coherent pattern so things appear to have a logical beginning, a middle and an ending. We do this for one simple reason: to make it possible to "coexist with temporal chaos" and to "humanise the common death". This philosophical insight inspired the 2011 Julian Barnes novel of the same name that is now adapted in the film The Sense of an Ending (2017). Joining these dots help us to understand what this film is about.

The film plot is simple but the story complex. Retired divorcée Tony (Jim Broadbent) is known as a curmudgeon by his ex-wife Margaret (Harriet Walter) and daughter Suzie (Michelle Dockery). He busies himself in his tiny shop selling second-hand Leica cameras when one day a lawyer's letter arrives that reopens memories of his first love. What follows is a jigsaw of glimpses into an old man's obsessive quest for redemption as he becomes haunted by an act of spite that he believes led to the suicide of his best friend. When he renews contact with his first love Veronica (Charlotte Rampling) he must confront unresolved emotions that were buried beneath the fictions he has constructed about his life.

This slow and serious film is not for everyone. Younger people are too busy making memories to be rewriting the story of their lives. Older audiences will recognise what Tony is experiencing and empathise with his need for a 'sense of an ending'. Despite the film's stellar cast and fine acting, none of the characters are especially likable, so it is possible to leave this film disengaged with the people while having been thoroughly immersed in the story. This is a well-directed dialogue-driven film. Its multiple flashbacks capture the disjointed half recalled fragments that many of us store as life memories. Most of all, it is an introspective and insightful essay on how we make sense of our lives.


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