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A woman is placed in a spiritual dilemma as she struggles with her continuing love for her former lover in the face of the realization that she is fatally ill.
Review by David Bruce
and was updated on
|Directed by Neil Jordan
Writing credits: Graham Greene (novel), Neil Jordan (screenplay)
Ralph Fiennes as Maurice Bendrix
Julianne Moore as Sarah Miles
Stephen Rea as Henry Miles
Ian Hart as Mr. Parkis
Sam Bould as Lance Parkis
Jason Isaacs as Father Smythe
James Bolam as Mr. Savage
Deborah Findlay as Miss Smythe
Produced by Neil Jordan, Kathy Sykes (co-producer), Stephen Woolley
Original music by Michael Nyman
Cinematography by Roger Pratt
|What to do with
broken promises to God?
The End of the Affair is arguably Graham Greene's most autobiographical novel, taking as its inspiration his adulterous love affair with the American Catherine Walston, who was married to a wealthy farmer. The book is dedicated to her. Greene's biographer, Norman Sherry, has called their relationship "the greatest literary affair of this century."
|FROM THE DIRECTOR
Neil Jordan, who first read the Graham Greene original many years ago, believes it is also his finest novel. "It's the simplest of stories, but the dramatic core is very strong, and its focus on the irrational is very relevant to contemporary life.
"I read it again seven or eight years ago," continues Jordan. "I saw that it would make a very interesting movie. I was really interested in the basic plot, that the structure of this love affair was seen so differently by the two protagonists."
Surprisingly, adapting the complexities of this intense novel for the screen wasn't as difficult as one might anticipate. "Greene is great at moral dilemmas, and specifically human dilemmas," says Jordan. "What I needed to do was bring the human drama to the surface and find a way of making the whole thing understandable and believable in human terms."
The character of Bendrix was an amalgam of both real and literary sources. Jordan created half of the tortured novelist from the Bendrix that Greene had written, but also sculpted him around Greene's life as well. "I wanted the movie to be as much a portrait of a writer as anything else," notes the director.
|ABOUT GRAHAM GREENE
1904-91, He was an English novelist and a Catholic convert with intense moral concerns. He wrote novels that are essentially parables of the damned. Those that are thrillers, e.g., Orient Express (1932), he called "entertainments." His major works are Brighton Rock (1938) and The Heart of the Matter (1948). A superb journalist, he set novels in sites of topical interest, e.g., The Quiet American (1955) in Indochina. He is also known for his short stories, plays, film criticism, and film scripts, including The Third Man (1950).
|GREENE was one of the most read authors of this last century because he was so brutally honest about the self-serving nature of most of our life's choices.
Broken promises to God often plays out in our lives like the television show, "Let's Make a Deal." But God is not like us. While we try to negotiate away our lives with bargaining chips, God is less impressed with our deal making strategies than the affairs of our heart. Deal making is always about the dealmaker, not the God relationship. God is reduced to an observer. The real battle lies within and can only be solved by submitting to what we can't change. Then, and only then, are we able to hear our own truth and allow God's intervention.
GOOD, BUT EXPLICIT
I thought this movie was very enjoyable. It had depth, the struggle was real and tragic. Love between a woman and a man really can be like that - the most compelling thing in your life apart from a relationship with God. I also thought the sex scenes were way to explicit and spoiled what could have been a good movie for my children to watch to learn how to struggle with real issues. Laury Morrison
Response: Yes it was an adult picture. I think that if it were toned down it still would not be for kids. Too "mochy." I think the subject would bore them.
CRIED ALL THREE TIMES
HJ HARD TO READ
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End of the Affair © 1999 Columbia TriStar. All Rights Reserved.
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