Movie: 45 Years
This is a quiet, almost claustrophobic drama about a mostly-functional marriage in which one partner finds out the other's long-held secret on the eve of their 45th anniversary. It was very, very well done, captivating and emotionally complex, with no easy answers. I thought the writing, acting, and music were all great, as was the portrayal of the couple's quotidian actions and how they went into creating a life. And I liked the somewhat ambiguous ending much more than the audience around me seemed to, judging by the grumbling as the credits rolled, so your mileage may vary.
Availability: In theaters.
Actress in a Leading Role: It's impossible to consider this, at this point, without noting that Charlotte Rampling is one of several actors who have recently said things about the Oscars that are, depending on interpretation, oblivious and tone-deaf at best or racist at worst. Her comments made me very unenthusiastic about the idea of her winning this award. That said, trying to look at her performance in a vacuum - it was very, very good. She took a quiet, self-contained role and made it compelling and realistic and fascinating, in a brilliantly understated way.
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