The End Of The Affair

Subscribe to Ralph Fiennes alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th February 2000

Box Office Worldwide: $10.8M

Budget: $23M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Reviews 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 44 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: Ralph Fiennes as Maurice Bendrix, Stephen Rea as Henry Miles, Julianne Moore as Sarah Miles, James Bolam as Mr. Savage, Ian Hart as Mr. Parkis, Jason Isaacs as Father Richard Smythe, Deborah Findlay as Miss Smythe, Sam Bould as Lance Parkis

The End Of The Affair Movie Review

Even if "The End of the Affair" didn't invite comparisons to "The English Patient" with Ralph Fiennes' auto-pilot performance as another reflective World War II-era Englishman immersed heart and soul in an adulterous love affair, this Neil Jordan adaptation of Graham Greene's novel would still be an ambitious misfire.

Beset by the oversimplification of abstract and heavy concepts of heart, mind and religion, the film looks beautiful with its foggy and well-heeled London society appointments, and it's nothing if not emotional, what with the likes of Fiennes and Julianne Moore as the (naturally!) doomed lovers and Jordan staple Stephen Rea as the betrayed, milquetoast husband/best friend.

But while Jordan's talent for screenwriting and direction are evidenced in dialogue ("I'm jealous of these shoes because they take you away from me. I'm jealous of this stocking because it kisses your entire leg...") and structure (Fiennes' point of view transitions into Moore's as he reads her stolen diary), the director's use of other stale and banal plot devices betray the pedestrian underpinnings of this seemingly complex film.

Fiennes plays novelist Maurice Bendrix, recounting in voice-over the hostility and jealousy that has consumed him in the two years since Sarah Miles (Moore) abruptly ended their clandestine relationship. The catalyst for the story is how this malevolence bubbles up for him when Henry Miles (Rea) comes to him, ironically seeking guidance because he thinks his wife may be unfaithful.

Fiennes skillful portrayal makes it gradually apparent that his burning hatred is really smoldering love, but there's just not enough character here to distinguish this brand of brooding from version Count Laszlo de Almasy suffered in "English Patient."

What's worse, his intensifying ire is largely dependent on the findings of an almost comically incapable private detective (Ian Hart) hired to follow Sarah -- who isn't of much use except as a sounding board for Fiennes' prosaic philosophical diatribes about love and regret.

On the other hand, Moore -- looking impeccably period in Oscar-winner Sandy Powell's '40s styles -- is as wonderful as ever, playing Sarah with a faultless Brit accent and a full menu of guilt and heavy passion beneath a prim exterior.

But it's unnecessarily obvious from early on that she is afflicted with one of those only-in-the-movies terminal illnesses, the only symptoms of which are a slight cough and increasing radiance until the script calls for her to become suddenly bedridden and pasty.

While the tension between the former lovers permeates the theater in the film's present, scenes between them during the flashbacks to the affair are often little more than overly stylized sex (life-risking love scenes during German V2 rocket attacks) or murky moments that are meant to establish the beginning of the relationship but raise more questions than they answer.

The best thing about "End of the Affair" is the gradual way in which the most enticing facts of the story are revealed -- like why Sarah abruptly left Bendrix only moments after he's nearly killed in one of the bombing raids. The answer lies in the heavy religious undertones ubiquitous in Graham Greene stories, and it's a stunning moment in the film.

But after all the cards are on the table, the movie (dialogue, structure and all) becomes stale and transparent as Moore's unnamed ailment kicks in right on cue, just as she begins to experience a glimmer of happiness.


Subscribe to Ralph Fiennes alerts


The End Of The Affair Rating

" Grim "


More Ralph Fiennes

A Little Chaos Trailer

In the palace of Versailles, a tremendous garden is maintained. One day, the builder and head gardener sees an ordinary woman arriving at the palace,...

Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy Album Review

The solo career of Mr Rice is not one you may realistically describe as that with which you may associate a prolific output. His is...

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of Trailer

In the late 90's and early 00's, The Backstreet Boys were the most powerful boy band in the world. After discovering that they had not...

George The Poet - 1,2,1,2 (Dismantle Remix) Video

George The Poet unveils an audio for the Dismantle Remix of his single '1,2,1,2', taken from the tracks Remixes EP. The track has been produced...


Perfume Genius - Too Bright Album Review

Ever since the release of his debut LP 'Learning' back in 2010, Seattle's Perfume Genius has attracted increasing attention both publicly and critically. His piano...

The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School - O Come All Ye Faithful Video

The angelic voices of The Boys of St. Paul's Choir School perform a moving rendition of classic Christmas carol 'O Come All Ye Faithful'.

Jamie Scott - Last Christmas Video

Jamie Scott of London duo GRAFFITI6 performs an acoustic rendition of Wham!'s 1984 festive single 'Last Christmas' in a black and white one-take video. In...

Christina Aguilera Ft. Brian McKnight - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Video

In 2000, Christina Aguilera recorded a collection of some of her favourite Christmas songs and the sessions resulted in the album 'My Kind of Christmas',...