Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay – actors – 45 Years
This is an extract from the 65th Berlin International Film Festival press conference of Andrew Haigh’s “45 Years”, about a married couple who are faced with a sudden internal crisis after an event threatens to end their 45 years together.
For this film, both Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay won the awards for best actors at this year’s Berlinale. Here, Charlotte Rampling talks about how she believes filmmaking to have changed for her from her beginnings to the modern day – while Tom Courtenay discusses playing working class characters and the difference between the one he plays in 45 Years to the one he played in the masterpiece of the angry young man British films, “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”
Kate is in the middle of preparations for her 45th wedding anniversary when her husband Geoff suddenly receives news which pulls him back into the past. Fifty years ago his then girlfriend had a fatal accident in the Swiss Alps. Now, finally, her body has been found, frozen in ice and time. Kate and Geoff are both shocked but are unable to share their insecurity with each other. He retreats ever more into a distant world of memories whilst Kate endeavours to suppress her burgeoning jealousy and anxiety with pragmatism. She needs to concentrate on selecting the music and menu for the party and taking care of the other arrangements. Outwardly, everything is business as usual. But the camera cautiously registers how a well-tuned coexistence is going out of kilter. Whether over a shared breakfast or a lonely wander through the town, Kate feels more and more like a stranger in her own life. 45 Years tells the story of two people who, caught up in unexpected emotions, are forced to bolster themselves against unfamiliar feelings and, in doing so, have the rug pulled out from under their feet. After 45 years, which feeling will prevail on the couple’s big day?