The Sense of an Ending

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name written by Julian Barnes in 2011, The Sense of an Ending revolves around an elderly man plagued by his past and is a beautiful dramatic film that feels very British whose talented filmmaker expertly navigates the mysteries of the story. Tony Webster, played by the superb Jim Broadbent, must face his college years after learning of the death of an ex-girlfriend’s mother who has bequeathed him a diary written by an old friend from college. The movie switches back and forth between flashbacks to that time and Tony’s current life where he still has a friendly relationship with his ex-wife and helps his single pregnant daughter, played by Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame. It is not fully clear what Tony is so distraught about and what happened those many years ago, and, therefore, the audience is led on a mystery in which we, along with Tony, must figure out ways to tie up the loose ends. We learn that his ex-girlfriend Veronica who we meet in flashbacks and is played by Charlotte Rampling refuses to turn over the diary that her mother, played by Emily Mortimer, has given Tony. It is surmised that it has something to do with Veronica’s relationship with his dear friend who wrote the diary and the untimely death of said friend. Like Tony who does not fully understand his impact on the lives of others, the
ending of the movie is rather ambiguous but makes the viewer think about how our emotions and relationships can cause great pain or happiness on those around us. Overall, I found it to be emotionally powerful drama that is imbued with a sense of mystery to
keep the audience on its toes, and it was greatly enhanced by the tour de force acting of the ensemble cast, especially the quintessential British actor Jim Broadbent.

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