On Chesil Beach

Unprepared young love

Two young people from different backgrounds preparing for their wedding night find themselves, despite flashbacks indicating compatibility and love, totally unprepared by society in 1962 England for sexual intimacy, leading to one of the most awkward and ill-fated bedroom scenes in cinema history. This funny yet heartbreaking film is superbly acted (by Saoirse Ronan & Billy Howle), directed (feature film debut by veteran theater director Dominic Cooke), and written (by Ian McEwan from his own novel). It’s predictably a bit stuffy starting out, but it grows into itself to become quite rewarding. (110 min)