My Reel for this week is 1999's THE END OF THE AFFAIR, after the viewing I felt strangely empty inside & sleepy.The movie starts in 1946 and from there dissolves into a series of flashbacks. Maurice (Ralph Fiennes), a writer is recalling in prose his brief affair with Sara (Julianne Moore), the long suffering wife of Henry (Stephen Rea), her bland, boring & inattentive husband, who walks about the house oblivious to his wife's restlessness. After meeting Maurice at a party, Sara begins a torrid affair. Now they say torrid, I say benumbed & horrid. It was actually excruciating to watch. Sadly, I was not convinced, that they couldn't live without each other. The chemistry was non-existent.When Sara spoke of loving Maurice forever (by the way in a British accent done badly), she could have easily been saying "Pass the salt".
When Sara mysteriously ends the affair, Maurice spends his time trying to discover what went wrong. I could have told him.
All three leading actors were dull, dull, dull. I couldn't even understand what Sara supposedly found intriguing about Maurice. It seemed like she went from her boring husband, to her boring lover , with some added sex.
The backdrop of the movie was WWII, but even that was dusted in gray.
The film tried to have the feel of an actual 1940's movie, with rain , clipped speech & dewy close-ups, but it lacked fleshiness(well, it definitely had the other kind of flesh) & real emotion.
For me, the entire movie was like watching a pot boil, but it doesn't even start to simmer. it simply sits there, tepid, wanting to boil, but incapable of it.
THE END OF THE AFFAIR lacked follow through & heart. You scratched the surface, but were left with more surface.
I felt cheated out of an hour & thirty-five minutes of my life, If you want a 1940's style movie, watch an actual 1940's movie. May I recommend "No Man of Her Own" with Barbara Stanwyck or "Leave Her to Heaven" with Gene Tierney & you won't feel cheated.