Michael Ward on Friday, May 18
Ian McEwan’s best-selling book is brought to the big screen by first-time feature director Dominic Cooke, starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle as Florence and Edward, two newlyweds set to begin married life on their honeymoon.
When their intimacy takes an unexpected turn, the couple are shocked to discover that both have carried unspoken frustrations, anxiety, and bitterness into the marriage. Unsure of what steps to take moving forward, we see a couple in crisis before they even have had a chance to begin.
In a novel, this emotional unease can be layered, explored, and contemplated exceedingly well. On screen, the movie seems rather simple, one-note, and hard to believe. Ronan is terrific, as always, Howle less so, and On Chesil Beach has a great look and presence about it. The story, however, just does not engage enough to matter, failing to earn much of the emotional highs it attempts to reach. Ultimately, this becomes a rather hyperbolic disappointment.
Starring: Saorise Ronan, Billy Howle, Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff.
Director: Dominic Cooke
Running Time: 110 Minutes
May 25 | Shoreline Community College | 7:30 PM
June 2 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 3:00 PM