Actress in a Leading Role - Charlotte Rampling
45 Years is the story of a couple on the precipice of celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary when the husband, Geoff (Tom Courtenay), receives a letter about his long-dead girlfriend's body having been found on a glacier where they had been hiking nearly 50 years before. This opens questions for his wife, Kate (Charlotte Rampling) about whether their marriage would have ever taken place if the girlfriend hadn't died. She begins to feel like the consolation prize for Geoff's life and struggles to accept their love's authenticity. Nonetheless, she needs for the anniversary party to continue publicly without a hitch, even while he insists that he loves her deeply and that he has had a wonderful life with her by his side. Still, some surprising discoveries leave her with more questions than answers and very little resolved.
This is another of those British, methodically executed films that you either love or you hate. But the characters are drawn extremely well, and while I couldn't quite find enough sympathy for Kate to really appreciate the film, I could see how certain key details left unshared could shake the fabric of a marriage - it's the information that goes unsaid that becomes powerful and overblown, when simple honesty could have prevented the feelings of betrayal at the outset. At very least, there are very good lessons for life and marriage in the film, even if it felt a bit labored to get through the entire story.