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Essential Art House: Brief Encounter
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The story is simple--in a very sad, post-WWII London, two married people meet by chance at a (glorious) train station and begin a friendship which slips quickly into love. The depth of their feelings is never in question, as Trevor Howard and the incandescent Celia Johnson portray these feelings honestly and without pretense, clutter, or the manneredness of modern depicitions of love. Whether the characters will be adulterers or not is important to them; they have principles and do truly care for their existing families. Again, they are two ordinary adults in the midst of something overwhelming; how they handle the situation is what gives them grace and dignity. The use of Rachmaninoff's Concerto no. 2 in C minor, especially the adagio section, was a stroke of genius. One cannot hear the piece ever again without imagining a tear streaming from Miss Johnson's large, soulful blue eyes. Fans of romance, classic cinema, or simply great acting should not miss this experience. The DVD transfer is excellent and Criterion should be applauded again for restoring a vital classic to modern audiences.
Oh my goodness, I couldn't disagree more. After intentionally waiting to see "Brief Encounter" for many years, I've finally watched it. I'm a married father in my mid-40's.
The incredibly profound affection that Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson express for each other is the most convincing portrayal I have ever seen of two people in love. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have a long way to go to convey such feelings, so powerfully. Yet the performances are, in true British fashion, reserved.
Frankly, I found its emotionalism so effective, it very nearly brought me to tears. Call it a chick flick if you like, but this is a film for every thinking adult who has ever been conflicted over their affections and devotions. I'm looking forward to watching it again -- this time with my wife!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As movies go, a bit melodramatic but better than most romantic movies today. The train scenes were plentiful and fabulous. It was the reason why I purchased it.Published 29 days ago by Susan Berry
An interesting film, one that will give you pause for thought.Published 1 month ago by Joan Davidson
Was an ok film, but didn't find either of the main characters convincingly passionate about the relationship.Published 2 months ago by Paul W.
Beautiful movie, worth purchasing in HD. Remarkable acting performances. Considered on of David Lean's greatest/Published 2 months ago by politicod
Classic British cinema from the 1940s at its absolutely best. The casting is perfect, the direction is perfect, just a perfect film. Highest rating!Published 3 months ago by Peter M.