An ageing divorced man coming to term with his age and impending inabilities, Jim Broadbent stars as Tony Webster – a semi retired, second-hand camera store owner, who has his somewhat comfortable life turned on its head upon receiving a letter than brings past memories flooding back.
Adapted from Julian Barnes’ award winning novel of the same name, The Sense of an Ending is an emotionally compelling story told through key events in Tony’s life from his first meeting with his childhood love, to meeting her family and reflections upon his school friendships.
Spending most of his time with his happily ex-wife Margaret (Harriet Walter), and single, pregnant daughter Susie (Michelle Dockery), it is clear that Tony is not spending his days how he might have dreamed. Upon receiving a letter to say the mother of his first love is leaving him a diary, the unsettled and clearly unfinished business from his schoolboy days start to flood out in a somewhat messy, series of flashbacks.
Spelling out these seemingly painful and never before heard stories to his ex-wife, Tony has tactfully edited these memories from his past and time spent with Margaret, something that that only becomes clear whilst he is obsessing over who the bequeathed diary belongs too.
The final quarter is dissapointing, the story becomes untidy, lost in a series of confusing flashbacks and closed by a rather disappointing, if not boring ending. However, there were outbursts of humour that – given the nature of the title – wern’t expected, and the cinematography was clever; bringing the touching moments of ageing to the forefront of my mind, with each flashback appearing like a fading photograph.
Overall then, a touching story that highlights the importance of love, family and memory – one that ties up loose ends and brings to mind the ever commencing end, whatever your age.
The Sense of an Ending, released nationwide 14 April 2017