The Sea

Director: Stephen Brown

Art historian Max Morden seeks solace in a quiet seaside resort where he spent summers as a child. Taking up residence in a once familiar boarding house, prone to increasingly heavy drinking and avoiding working on a book he claims to be writing, Max revisits incidents from his past, specifically, the recent death of his wife from cancer and the summer of 1955, when he ingratiated himself with the Grace family, a middleclass, bohemian clan who welcomed him into their world. Max struggles to find peace while dealing with these traumatic reflections. A meditation on memory, grief and love, Stephen Brown’s directorial debut is a classy adaptation of John Banville’s Booker Prize-winning novel, for which Banville himself provides the script. Ciarán Hinds is reliably excellent at the centre of the film, and he’s supported by a distinguished cast which includes Natascha McElhone, Charlotte Rampling, Rufus Sewell and Sinéad Cusack.

Notes by Michael Hayden.
Best Supporting Actress (Cusack) Award at the 11th Irish Film and Television Awards 2014.

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