Just when audiences are clamoring for a contemporary Saoirse Ronan since her Oscar-nominated turn in “Lady Bird,” the Irish actress is anchoring another period drama, and it’s not as heartwarming as “Brooklyn.” Ronan has an affinity for the British writer Ian McEwan, whose novel provided the source material for her first Oscar-nominated role in “Atonement.” She returns to McEwan’s work in “On Chesil Beach,” based on his novella of the same name, which follows a pair of Honeymooners who struggling to develop intimacy.
Per the official synopsis: “The drama centers on a young couple of drastically different backgrounds in the summer of 1962. Following the pair through their idyllic courtship, the film explores sex and the societal pressure that can accompany physical intimacy, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.”
In her C+ review of the film out of Toronto, IndieWire’s Kate Erbland praised the two lead actors and the lush cinematography, but found little else to admire. “Away from the beach and away from the raw honesty it forces out of its stars, ‘On Chesil Beach’ heads towards shallow, cold waters. Like its central characters, it never recovers,” she wrote.
“On Chesil Beach” stars “Dunkirk” actor Billy Howle in a “revelatory” turn opposite Ronan, as well as Anne-Marie Duff, Adrian Scarborough, Emily Watson, and Samuel West.
Check out the trailer below.
Bleecker Street will release “On Chesil Beach” in select theaters May 18.