The Sea

The Sea

(2013)

Author John Banville adapts his own Man Booker Prize-winning novel for the screen, following an older man who – after the death of his wife – revisits the sea that holds many tranquil memories from his childhood.

Flicks Review

If slow-moving, arty-farty films reflecting on the human condition have you hurling obscenities at the screen, look away now because The Sea is all that and more. Max (a masterfully subtle portrayal by Ciarán Hinds), is an art historian who, following the death of his wife (a superb and deeply moving Sinéad Cusack), returns to the Irish coastal resort where he spent his childhood. Adapted from his novel by John Banville, the spare screenplay is masterfully served by director Stephen Brown, who quietly shapes a flashback-filled tale of a man haunted by a tragic past.... More

A melancholic meditation on memory and how events and experiences shape our present, tethering us to a past which we drag behind us as an ever heavier burden, this is a film that demands engagement. Deliberately slow and thoughtful, it’s a long and winding tale in which pacing, atmosphere and understated acting are all. Fortunately, the cast (including Charlotte Rampling, Natascha McElhone, and Rufus Sewell) are excellent, and the Wexford coast locations are emotively photographed by cinematographer John Conroy.

Slipping between past and present, musing on big topics of time, mortality, grief and memory, The Sea, depending on your arthouse cinema stance, is either wonderfully languid, self-indulgent torture, or just plain bloody torture. Me? I admired, rather than enjoyed, the quiet ambition, reveling in the atmosphere created, but never able to fully connect with those onscreen as anything more than cyphers rather than flesh and blood characters.Hide


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