On Chesil Beach

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On Chesil Beach
On Chesil Beach
Release date
18th May 2018
Running time
1hr 45mins
Director
Dominic Cooke
Cast
Saoirse Ronan, Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff

On Chesil Beach

15 cinema age rating  

A lovestruck young couple swap vows in 1960’s Britain, but run into relationship problems as soon as the honeymoon begins.

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Britain, 1962. Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) are university graduates who come from different ends of the social spectrum, but are deeply in love with one another.

Florence is a talented classical musician from a wealthy family with grand ambitions, while Edward too is a brilliant student with a first-class degree, albeit from a more modest background. Like so many couples of their era, the pair decide to marry young and their wedding is planned.

But, as the two virgins go to consummate their relationship, it becomes clear that they have very different feelings about sex. Florence is haunted by a past experience and in turn dreading the experience, whereas Edward is both excited and nervous to finally carry out an act he has dreamed of for so long.

The results are disastrous and immediately puts a barrier between the newlyweds, who are forced to recall past memories during their stay on Chesil Beach. But, as the decades roll by, it seems that some things are irreparable.

Adapted from the 2007 Booker Prize shortlisted novel of the same name by Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach is a deeply sad but moving account of a couple in love at a time of sexual oppression.

Critics have praised the leading performance of Saoirse Ronan, who has featured in The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and the forthcoming Mary Queen of Scots (2018) alongside Margot Robbie.

Equally brilliant is Billy Howle, who featured in Dunkirk (2017) and will soon be seen in The Seagull (2018). Stellar support comes from Emily Watson (War Horse) and Anne-Marie Duff (Suffragette).


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