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45 Years: Charlotte Rampling and Andrew Haigh on film's ambiguous final scene

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Writer-director Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years is a deceptively straightforward film. It follows a married couple (Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling) who are preparing to celebrate their 45th anniversary when a piece of news regarding someone from the husband’s past throws their relationship into quiet chaos — and it refuses to satisfy viewers who want to see a tidy resolution. 

Discussing the film in a recent video interview with EW, Haigh and Rampling talked about the final scene, the ambiguity of which they both believe is essential to the movie’s success.

“The end was the moment I was most nervous about,” Haigh says. “That final shot was essentially the first image I thought of when I started writing the script, so everything was building up to that moment.”

Rampling, who has been picking up Oscar buzz for her performance in the film, tells EW that the last scene is her favorite in the film. “Everything seems to be resolved, or could be resolved,” Rampling says. “But it’s not quite as simple as that.”

“What I love about the reaction to the film is that everyone really does have an interpretation of what happens after the film ends,” Haigh says, “of how they feel about each other, about what the root of the problem is for both of the characters.”

For more on 45 Years, which opens in theaters on Wednesday, watch the video above.