Scott Brown
May 19, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The End of the Affair

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
102 minutes
performer
Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore
director
Neil Jordan
distributor
Columbia Pictures
author
Neil Jordan
genre
War, Romance, Historical, Drama

We gave it a B+

Ralph Fiennes as a jealous misanthrope — sound familiar? But The End of the Affair, a staid adaptation of Graham Greene’s 1951 novel, is savvier than the English Patient, perhaps because it has more on its mind than vague geopolitical metaphors. Director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) has simplified — but not gutted — Greene’s god-haunted love story about a married woman (Julianne Moore, with Oscar-bait tears and English accent), her paramour (Fiennes), and ”that other” who divides them one fateful night during the London blitz. By the time you guess the identity of ”that other” (hint: it’s not Steven Rea’s clueless cuckold), Jordan has quietly drawn us into an elegant theological debate, without sacrificing human passion. Somewhat regrettably, he chooses to end on a miracle instead of a mystery, but this is, after all, the movies, where The Sixth Sense qualifies as a spiritual schooling. B+

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