Vernon Film Society audience members, especially those who are also in book clubs, will be excited to see Julian Barnes’s Booker-winning novel, The Sense of an Ending, brought to the screen Aug. 28 at the Vernon Towne Cinema. Exploring how the written word impacts our lives and relationships, director Ritesh Batra’s (The Lunchbox) feature film also considers how we edit our memories and construct our identities, much like a piece of storytelling.
Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent) is a reclusive older man who runs a vintage camera shop. His love of cameras began when he was given one as a gift from his college girlfriend Veronica (Charlotte Rampling) before she left him for his best friend Adrian (Joe Alwyn). Tony wrote them a strongly-worded letter and, despite cutting all his ties with them, has never been able to move on from the betrayal.
After Adrian dies, Tony receives word that he has been willed a diary. The diary entries cause him to re-examine the past and consider perspectives other than his own.
The director deftly interweaves Tony’s present revelations and his memories of his past relationship, with the young Tony and Veronica played to perfection by newcomer Billy Howle and Freya Mavor (Sunshine on Leith).
“Tony’s journey offers a poignant commentary on how each of us attempts to make meaning of our lives, distorting memories and destroying documentation to suit agendas we can’t entirely rationalize,” said Peter Debruge of Variety.
The Sense of an Ending is the final showing in the society’s summer season, and screens Aug. 28 at the Towne Theatre at the regular times of 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are available one week ahead at the theatre and the Bean Scene Coffee House for $7. Cash only. Rated PG for a sexually suggestive scene and coarse language.