© The Financial Times Ltd 2016
FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
The Financial Times and its journalism are subject to a self-regulation regime under the FT Editorial Code of Practice.
Last updated: April 16, 2014 4:20 pm
Nobly acted and always reaching for a dreamlike resonance, The Sea is an adaptation of John Banville’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel – he also wrote the screenplay. When recently widowed art historian (Ciarán Hinds) travels back to the beach where he summered as a child in the 1950s, he remembers something terrible that happened, but was never spoken of. First-time director Stephen Brown is good at transmitting that feeling of being muffled against the sea-breeze, but as his story takes more seriously to its theme – that all memories are forever on the cusp of slipping away – things congeal into bleached-out flashbacks. Why must “memory” in film always be contained in such a clichéd trick? Doesn’t memory in fact flood in all sorts of ways into every present moment?
This being Banville there is an air of Proust and Beckett, and a tremendous floating ominousness, but the film is without fire. Charlotte Rampling pops up as a guesthouse landlady, sensational in a Biba headscarf, standing perfectly still in that way of hers that makes tensions bounce around at the very sight of her.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.