Thursday, 27 September 2012
Brief Encounter (1945) - ★★★★★
Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway
Let me start off by saying that Brief Encounter is one of my favorite romance films of all time. It has so much passion and such incredible acting that it hooked my heart strings from the moment Laura (Celia Johnson) met Alec (Trevor Howard).
At a cafe' railway station in England, middle aged housewfe Laura Jesson meets doctor Alec Harvey and has an instantaneous connection. Although they are both already married, they gradually fall in love with each other as they see one another every Thursday. This is also one of my favorite films about forbidden love, for they aren't young or selfish, but older and caring for everyone that the affair would hurt. Although they know their love is impossible, they continue seeing each other throughout until a thrilling, beautiful and sad climax is reached.
Celia Johnson gives one of the finest performances I have ever seen as Laura. She is a masterful actress that knows how to fully express her emotions on her face without uttering a word. All she had to do was look at you and you could tell what she was thinking and how she was feeling. A notable scene from the film is when she is sitting on the train, contemplating the affair she is having. Johnson's great talent had me going through the exact same thought process. Seeing her in deep thought had me in deep thought, and in the end I came to the same conclusion she did. She sucked me right into her shoes, now that is what I call a powerful performance! It's a shame that she never had a big career after this film. The same compliments go for Trevor Howard, who could display affection so incredibly well that you couldn't help but fall in love with him yourself. Their chemistry was astounding and the story was heartbreaking, one couldn't help but wish that they would run away together.
The thing that makes this film a classic is that it's unforgettable. I believe this is one of the most underrated films of all time. It should be up there with all the great romances. David Lean is renowned for his masterpieces Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge on the River Kwai. I'll always remember him for Brief Encounter.