The End Of The Affair

An extremely English story of adulterous love that devastates all involved, this adaptation of Graham Greene's autobiographical novel is the kind of movie that either makes you weep or laugh. You're the best judge of where you stand on love stories in which people behave frightfully well while behaving badly. The year is 1939; England is at war, and ordinary...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

An extremely English story of adulterous love that devastates all involved, this adaptation of Graham Greene's autobiographical novel is the kind of movie that either makes you weep or laugh. You're the best judge of where you stand on love stories in

which people behave frightfully well while behaving badly. The year is 1939; England is at war, and ordinary lives are lived in the liberating shadow of death. Novelist Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) falls in love at first sight with Sarah Miles (Julianne Moore) — the rub is her husband,

civil servant Henry (Steven Rea); a nice enough fellow, all wrong for Sarah but loyal, steady and trusting. When Maurice invites them both to see a movie he's written, workaholic Henry demurs but insists Sarah go and have fun. Soon she and Maurice are embroiled in a passionate affair facilitated

by wartime turmoil; air raids are nothing but an excuse for them to steal away to each other. But one afternoon a bomb hits Maurice's building; he's hurt — nearly killed, in fact — and Sarah breaks off their relationship abruptly. Years later, a chance encounter with Henry reawakens

Maurice's still tumultuous feelings; he hires a private investigator to follow Sarah and eventually learns what led her to abandon him so brutally. The film rests on three excellent performances, of which the most difficult is Stephen Rea's; where Henry could easily be pathetic and ridiculous, Rea

gives him a certain doggy dignity; you can actually like him without hating Maurice and Sarah. Grand passions aside, the story's delights are in the details, notably Maurice's unlikely camraderie with Mr. Parkis (Ian Hart), the working-class investigator who reports primly on Sarah's behavior,

careful to point out situations that imply "intimacy" with other men.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: An extremely English story of adulterous love that devastates all involved, this adaptation of Graham Greene's autobiographical novel is the kind of movie that either makes you weep or laugh. You're the best judge of where you stand on love stories in whi… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »