A review of the new film “On Chesil Beach”

Ten years ago, I read the novella by Ian McEwan [for my review click here] and now he himself has adapated the story for the screen with director Dominic Cooke making his first feature film.

The work was shot on location on the Dorset coast and deploys much use of classical music, but this is a starring vehicle for two young and impressive actors: Saoirse Ronan who made her cinematic debut in another McEwan story (“Atonement”) and newcomer Billy Howle of whom we will soon see a lot more. In fine performances, they play Florence, a music graduate and talented violinist, and Edward, a history graduate whose music tastes are more popular and contemporary.

The time is 1962 before the sexual revolution and the painful heart of the narrative is the wedding night of these two virgins with limiting backgrounds revealed in a series of flashbacks. For the flash forwards over decades, McEwan has provided a neater, but even sadder, sequence than occurred in the novella. It is all achingly painful but so well done.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>