Despite a limited release during the week of Christmas, the indie drama 45 Yearsmade a huge splash at this year's Philadelphia Film Festival in October. Director Andrew Haigh quietly continues to build his legacy with this exceptional slow-burning character study, one that could even find itself in Oscar contention.
It's the week leading up to Kate and Geoff's (Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay) 45th wedding anniversary, when Geoff receives an unexpected letter regarding a former lover he had before meeting his wife. As the news sends her husband into a mental tailspin, Kate pries deeper into Geoff's old love story and confronts its impact on her own life.
Andrew Haigh develops such a simple, yet emotionally explosive, story that's beautifully acted by its pair of veteran leads. Tom Courtenay shines in his own right, but it's Charlotte Rampling who gives a career-best performance that's worthy of recognition. Although she missed out on nominations from the major precursors, namely the Golden Globes and SAG, I wouldn't count Rampling out of the Best Actress Oscar race just yet. She has the unique ability to transform a crawling 95 minute drama into a memorable example of genuine filmmaking. 45 Years gives its performers the entire canvas to work with and they muster up a wonderful piece of art that proves to be well worth the investment by the time the credits roll.