The End Of The Affair

Though the writer-director is Neil Jordan, not Anthony Minghella, and the source novel is by Graham Greene, not Michael Ondaatje, the male lead is Ralph Fiennes and this 1999 feature is clearly designed to be another The English Patient. In that endeavor the film succeeds pretty well, but whether it does full justice to Greene is another matter. The book is my favorite of this author’s, and one aspect that the movie captures quite nicely is romantic nostalgia for the London blitz–a curious emotion also evoked by Gravity’s Rainbow, which learned a great deal from Greene. The underrated 1954 movie version of Greene’s novel, which Van Johnson and Deborah Kerr starred in, Edward Dmytryk directed, and Greene gave grudging approval to, had some of the same quality. This new version is a misty, highly emotional Catholic mystery story with dreamy flashbacks and evocative performances by Julianne Moore and Stephen Rea, and if you’re looking to be romantically captivated, this movie just might do the job. Michael Nyman composed the music. 109 min. (JR)

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