Survives more as a social document than a genuinely compelling drama.
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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.
An uncommonly good little picture.
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.
Encounter remains the definition of timeless, a beautifully shot, heartbreakingly acted, minutely detailed illustration of thoroughly recognizable human frailty.
The film is thrillingly, unapologetically about decency and honour, about, as Laura heartrendingly puts it, controlling oneself.
David Lean's wondrous romance, adapted from Noel Coward's story, is one of the most emotionally devastating movies of all time.