Key of Heartbreak: Charlotte Rampling at the Piano in 45 Years

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Mar 10, 2017

Even love that seems built to last might rest on a fragile foundation, a painful truth borne out to subtly devastating effect in Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years. In this delicately calibrated drama—featuring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as Kate and Geoff, an English couple preparing to celebrate their forty-fifth anniversary—the unexpected arrival of a single letter upsets the contented balance that exists between them, exposing secrets and uncertainties that have long festered beneath the placid surface of their relationship. To dramatize this sudden rupture in their marriage, Haigh fostered a particularly close collaborative bond with his actors, whose performances bring a heightened authenticity to his acute observations of domestic life. In this clip, taken from a documentary on our new edition of the film, Haigh and Rampling discuss the on-set exchanges, as well as the particular alchemy of preparation and improvisation, that led to a quietly cathartic musical interlude near the film’s end.