Master chronicler of post-War England, Terence Davies (The Long Day Closes, The House of Mirth) directs Rachel Weisz as a woman whose overpowering love threatens her well-being and alienates the men in her life. In a deeply vulnerable performance, Rachel Weisz plays Hester Collyer, the wife of an upper-class judge (Simon Russell Beale) and a free spirit trapped in a passionless marriage. Her encounter with Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), a troubled former Royal Air Force pilot, throws her life in turmoil, as their erotic relationship leaves her emotionally stranded and physically isolated. The film is an adaptation of British playwright Terence Rattigan's 1952 play, featuring one of the greatest roles for an actress in modern theatre. Through flashbacks, Mr. Davies creates memorable cinematic compositions against the backdrop of post-war England. His signature style includes beautiful tracking shots as well as the use of popular music of the day, and here Samuel Barber's majestic Opus for Violin and Orchestra. Besides his two acclaimed semi-autobiographical features Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes, Mr. Davies films include The House of Mirth, The Neon Bible, and his masterful nonfiction exploration of his native city, Liverpool, Of Time and the City.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
This is Rachel Weisz's movie. She's as luminous as a Pre-Raphaelite portrait, yet she brings to Hester a high-wire, modern tremulousness...David Edelstein, NPR, 04.06.2012
This is an extremely deft job of adaptation.Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 03.30.2012
Rachel Weisz - in what has to be the performance of her career, and there have been lots of good ones - plays an intelligent woman in the grip of a lust that's too big to handle or suppress. She can either ride the tiger or be devoured.Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 03.29.2012
Maddeningly oblique and incomplete, despite paying what at times feels like excruciating attention to the minutiae of a dying love affair's final hours.Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 03.29.2012