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Brief Encounter

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom

1945

1h 26m

Director David Lean

Starring Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey

Genre Drama, Romance

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Returning home from a shopping trip, bored suburban housewife Laura Jesson is thrown by happenstance into an acquaintance with virtuous doctor Alec Harvey. Their casual friendship soon develops during their weekly visits into something more emotionally fulfilling than either expected, and they must wrestle with the potential havoc their relationship would have on the lives of those they love.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

CineVue by Allie Gemmill

We rarely see films that are so loaded in meaning and symbolism yet subdued in action. It’s a treat to be sure, one that can be relished seventy years on with renewed fervour.
100

LarsenOnFilm by Josh Larsen

Shockingly modern in sensibility, construction, and execution, Brief Encounter is very different from what one thinks of as a David Lean movie, whose historical epics have come to define posh, mid-century, cinematic excellence.
100

The A.V. Club by Keith Phipps

Encounter remains the definition of timeless, a beautifully shot, heartbreakingly acted, minutely detailed illustration of thoroughly recognizable human frailty.
100

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

The film is thrillingly, unapologetically about decency and honour, about, as Laura heartrendingly puts it, controlling oneself.
100

Time Out by Tom Huddleston

David Lean's wondrous romance, adapted from Noel Coward's story, is one of the most emotionally devastating movies of all time.

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