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~Brief Encounter~


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An epitome of romantic film.

 

First time I'd ever seen it, though had heard it referenced.

 

Positively brilliant. To quote Lucia Bozzola's review in AllMovieGuide: A model of narrative restraint and emotional power.

 

It was great to see Trevor Howard, whom I have always enjoyed, as a young man and not as the craggy old duffer whom I am used to. And Celia Johnson was quite an actress, with such a lovely profile.

 

David Lean's direction was quite astonishing (no surprise there) despite its subtlety and restraint. One mid-movie sequence was particularly brilliant: when Laura's recollection of what has been transpiring segues back to her in her living room --- we see her super-imposed (in the bottom right foreground) on the scene we are departing from (of she and Alec at the station), and then the original scene quick-dissolves away, revealing the rest of her superimposed scene: her home's living room with her husband across from her. This scene just delighted me in its capturing of the ability of the mind's-eye to transport a person from the present moment into a daydream, by showing one's return from the daydream.

 

And I liked, immensely, the closing line going to the husband; a truly model man, for he could acknowledge that the dream his wife had been off on (does he fully understand what has transpired?) was not ultimately a pleasant one, and he is there to comfort her rather than selfishly demanding her attention (or feeling cuckolded?), for he realises on some level that he almost lost this soul with whom he feels a bond, and, despite the reason, he is grateful that she was not lost to him. That evidenced true love on his part --- to recognise that Life is messy, and to accept her vulnerability and forgive her for it, realising that the challenge that befell them has revitalised their passion by challenging the complacency of their life together. Love is at its pinnacle when it is not taken for granted.

 

Did I mention that it is an epitome of romantic film. ;-)

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Thank you for starting a thread on this, SamTherapy. I watched this last night, as I had been waiting to see it ever since the January schedule was posted a few months back!

 

What a lovely, lovely movie! To sound cliche, watching it evoked a whole rollercoaster of emotions. The happiness Laura felt when Alec shows up just in time to catch his train, the desperation that Laura felt spending three hours alone to collect herself and the sadness of the whole situation at hand. Plus, the use of Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto throughout the entire movie was perfect: dramatic but not overblown and silly. It was great to see a love story between two mature adults and to see passion between two people without shedding of clothes.

 

And the print TCM had was excellent--very clean and sharp. I've always wanted to see Brief Encounter, but I can't shell out $40 for the Criterion dvd. I'm so happy it lived up to my expectations of what I was hoping it would be. Thank you for showing it, TCM. I have another movie to add to my new favorites list.

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//The happiness Laura felt when Alec shows up just in time to catch his train, the desperation that Laura felt spending three hours alone to collect herself //

 

Indeed. Similarly, I was moved with vicarious aching when they are parting forever, yet they cannot fully 'be' in the moment together due to the intrusion of the banal twit.

 

//the use of Rachmaninoff//

Yes, that was was impressive, the way way the music would lace the daydream at pivotal moments.

 

//It was great to see a love story between two mature adults and to see passion between two people without the shedding of clothes.//

That was curious, that that never was acheived (though desired, but not in a tawdry way). Indeed, I wonder if actual sex would have burst the bubble for them, ultimately?

 

All these what-if's in the story. Just like a dream, full of surreal coincidence and illogic. And that was how Lean framed the story, in his choice of ambience and array. Just brilliant, I must reiterate.

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