On Friday night I saw On Chesil Beach, starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle.
Florence (Ronan) and Edward (Howle) are a young couple, madly in love. They've just been married and are beginning to enjoy their honeymoon on the beach, indulging in a fancy dinner, then retiring to bed to do what honeymooning couples do.
This is the entirety of the film, which was originally based on the novella of the same name. Author Ian McEwan adapted his own work here for the big screen and the story stays strong, but feels more like a play than a film.
Each scene, placed carefully in between the scenario I detailed above, is a flashback that gives us more insight into how the two came together and what their lives were like growing up. One had a well-to-do family; the other struggled with a mentally ill parent. One was welcomed with open arms into the other's family; the other not so much.
Each vignette gives us clues as to why their honeymoon is so filled with tension and somewhat cleverly begins to draw us in to both characters.
To put it more plainly, I didn't know I was emotionally invested in either of them until one of the final scenes, when I effortlessly burst into tears.
Wonderful storytelling in an unconventional way with two brilliant actors.
If you're fascinated by love and relationships as I am, you should see this film.