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The Sense of an Ending

Tony received a letter one day. He inherited a small amount of money and a diary. The inheritence catapults him back to his youth in the early 1960s and makes him discover that not everything happened the way he remembers.


Tony Webster is a somewhat grumpy but basically satisfied man in his early 70s. He owns a small camera shop in London, meets his ex-wife Margaret sometimes, and has an awkward relationship with his daughter who is about to give birth. One day he receives a letter from the distant past. The mother of an old ex-girlfriend has bequeathed him with some money and a diary which he can‘t see because the ex – Veronica – won‘t allow it. The inheritance catapults Tony back to a time when he was still studying and had a complicated relationship with Veronica. When he had 3 best friends, know-it-all middle-class boys who idolized the smartest among them, Adrian. When they tried to get laid e but it never happened. While the film compiles fragmented flashbacks of the story of young Tony and his friends, adult Tony tries to meet Veronica in the present to get to the diary. The more he rummages through the past, the more it changes. Tony realizes that his memories and historical reality are not identical.

Julian Barnes novel was written from Tony‘s perspective. His inner thoughts that sometimes meander here and there and then increasingly turn into a thriller, revolve around unversal questions about history, memory, and responsibility. What can we know? What are historic facts? What is the value of our memories and how do they change? And: who is guilty when a tragedy happens? The film also asks these questions, but it is inevitably more concrete and gives the supporting characters, especially Tony‘s ex-wife Margaret and his daughter Susie, more space. It is the very adult, but also alternating loving and bristly relationship that Jim Broadbent and Harriet Walter have as exes Tony and Margaret that carries the film. Their small gestures and interactions show how the past inscribes the future more than the big drama that Tony‘s research will uncover.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: The Sense of an Ending
Großbritannien 2017, 108 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Ritesh Batra
Author: Nick Payne
DOP: Christopher Ross
Montage: John F. Lyons
Music: Max Richter
Distributor: Wild Bunch
Cast: Emily Mortimer, Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Matthew Goode
Release: 14.06.2018




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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