On Chesil Beach movie poster
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On Chesil Beach
On Chesil Beach movie poster

On Chesil Beach Movie Review

Good reviews (sort of) and Saoirse Ronan were enough to convince me to watch On Chesil Beach, a drama-romance (comedy?) about two extremely boring people who reflect on their boring lives as they try to have sex on their boring wedding night.

To make matters worse, it’s a period film set in 1962 England, which means that the energy and passion you’d normally expect from Ronan is sucked dry long before the cameras ever started rolling.

Things proceed from there, but getting through the first 45 minutes is a chore. On Chesil Beach is just there, something playing in the background while you fight the urge to check your phone for new messages or do anything else more enjoyable. And if you do start poking around on your phone, you realize 10 minutes have passed and that you missed nothing.

To be fair, the movie improves somewhat, but On Chesil Beach feels too much like a 1980’s BBC comedy, only without the humor or compelling characters to make it work. It isn’t a comedy, but it’s almost too awkwardly flat not to be. Nonetheless, everything about it feels quaint and nonessential.

Clearly, On Chesil Beach was not my jam, but stilted British period films do have their fans, so if you fall into that category, take a stroll down memory lane.

This movie was screened at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF 2018).

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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