Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent) leads a reclusive and quiet existence until long buried secrets from his past force him to face the flawed recollections of his younger self, the truth about his first love (Charlotte Rampling) and the devastating consequences of decisions made a lifetime ago.
Tony is a mildly grumpy septuagenarian who lives comfortably enough while maintaining a hole-in-the-wall camera store that exclusively stocks second-hand Leicas. He rather uselessly accompanies his heavily pregnant lesbian daughter Susie (Michelle Dockery) to birthing class and seems devoid of any consuming interests or close friends. Sending his serene life into choppy waters is the arrival of a legal letter revealing an unexpected cash bequest from a late school chum, as well as a promised copy of the man's diary.
We are treated to flashbacks of Tony’s earlier years (played by Billy Howle), covering his intense admiration for the handsome and brilliant Adrian (Joe Alwyn) and his equivocal courtship of the alluring but elusive Veronica (Freya Mavor). This adaptation of the widely praised Julian Barnes novel is very well served by Broadbent, who is smooth and self-effacing as the old-timer whose view of himself and the past acquires significant clarity.
Harriet Walter, Dockery and Rampling, playing women who have differing issues with Tony, are tautly spring-loaded with repressed feelings they're mostly loathe to express, while Emily Mortimer is very entertaining as the young Veronica's frisky, hard-to-read mother.
UK 2017 Ritesh Batra 108m