It’s always fun to talk to talent who are high on their movie’s rapturous reception. Over the course of the year “45 Years” has been blazing a festival trail from Berlin (where stars Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling won Best Actor and Actress) and Edinburgh to Karlovy Vary, Sarajevo and finally, Telluride and Toronto. Thus Courtenay (“Quartet”) and writer-director Andrew Haigh (“Weekend”) were all smiles as they discussed the mysteries behind Rampling’s hooded eyes and how husbands and wives behave.
Rampling, who has never been nominated for an Oscar, enters an unusually robust Best Actress race populated by several senior women. Out of Sundance emerged romance “I’ll See You In My Dreams,” which offered veteran Blythe Danner her first lead role and scored with older audiences. Helen Mirren can’t be ignored for Weinstein hit “Woman in Gold.” Another older dame chasing Best Actress is Maggie Smith, reprising her stage role of 16 years ago in playwright/screenwriter Alan Bennett’s moving and hilarious “The Lady in the Van” (Sony PIctures Classics, December 4 limited).
Meanwhile Courtenay, 78, who was nominated for Supporting Actor for “Doctor Zhivago” and Best Actor for “The Dresser,” is up against a long list of contenders for a supporting actor slot: the cast of “Spotlight” are all going supporting, as well as “Love & Mercy” star Paul Dano, Jason Segel in “The End of the Tour,” Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation,” and Joel Edgerton in “Black Mass.”
While “45 Years” may seem small and unassuming, writers and directors may laud Haigh as well. It could be this year’s “Amour.”