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On Chesil Beach

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United Kingdom · 2018
Rated R · 1h 50m
Director Dominic Cooke
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Anne-Marie Duff, Adrian Scarborough
Genre Drama

In 1962 England, a young couple arrives at an idyllic beach for their honeymoon. Yet the idea of consummating their marriage creates an impasse between the two. Innocent and victims to societal pressure, they attempt to smooth things out before their wedding night.

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What are critics saying?


Empire by

An opulent, well crafted and acted tale of emotional repression that captures the head more than the heart.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

The film’s imaginative daring springs from its willingness to render repression sexy, even if it will prove to be the seed of a young couple’s dissolution.


Total Film by Jamie Graham

A decent adaptation of McEwan’s excellent novella. Forget Fifty Shades – this is sex to make your cheeks blush.


IndieWire by Kate Erbland

On Chesil Beach offers up so many tricky tonal changes, enough that Cooke eventually gives them over to a single note: limp.


The Playlist by Kevin Jagernauth

On Chesil Beach makes us consider the lives of the Florence and Edward as outside observers, but rarely takes us inside the complicated mix of desire and fear this pair is trying to untangle.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

It is a tender and valuable film, well acted, with a shrewd eye for how naive you can be in your early 20s, how impatient, how pompous, how tragicomically un-self-aware.


Screen International by Wendy Ide

Even with author Ian McEwan adapting his own novel for the screen, this somewhat stilted picture struggles to convey the deft emotional complexity of the source material.

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