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On Chesil Beach

Updated: Feb 17, 2019

The first time I remember seeing three-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird, Brooklin) was in Atonement. Now she is back with another movie adaptation of an Ian McEwan book. On Chesil Beach Movie focuses on a young British couple who gets married in 1962. Florence Ponting (Ronan) comes from a wealthy, uptight family, and Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle, from Dunkirk) has a working-class background. Meeting just after their college graduation, they need to get to know each other, and also to learn how to live in each other’s worlds.

Florence’s and Edward’s worlds are marked by music, which is the movie’s conductor, punctuating the couple’s questions and insecurities. The contrasting tastes are a clear sign of their different backgrounds and personalities. While she is a classical violinist, he is an enthusiastic fan of the upcoming rock and jazz stars.

Most of the movie takes place on Florence and Edward’s wedding night, with the story of their first encounter and courtship presented in flashback. Highlighting the couple's struggle with the expected intimacy of that moment, On Chesil Beach is, at the same time, old-fashioned and fresh, making the audience experience the awkwardness felt by Florence and Edward.

- Lalu Farias


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