On Chesil Beach ★★

This is Cooke’s directorial debut, though he arrives to film from a storied and successful career in theatre. During the film’s initial stages, with its bright and unshowy establishing sequences buoyed by much admirably detailed production design, the switch from stage to screen is all but unnoticeable. Yet by the film’s protracted, cosmically overwrought climax, you can almost see the footlights as the actors do their thing. It’s mostly told in flashback, detailing how the happy couple reached this juncture of high anxiety.

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