Great Britain, 1945, 86 min
Direction: David Lean
Cast: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey, Cyril Raymond
Awards: Grand Prize of the Festival, Cannes Film Festival, 1946, NYFCC Award, New York Film Critics Circle Awards, 1946; nominations: Oscar for best actress (Celia Johnson), best direction (David Lean), best screenplay (Anthony Havelock-Allan, Davi Lean, Ronald Neame)
Selection: Pedja’s Film Collection
In Pedja’s Film Collection there is a movie made by many times awarded director, David Lean, called Brief Encounter. The audience of the festival is going to have a chance to see the movie that was, in the late 1947, nominated for Oscar in three categories, and it had a huge success in Cannes, where the director won the main prize of the festival.
Brief Encounter is a real classic among love dramas. The story happens during the World War Two. At Milford train station, Laura is approached by a kind doctor and he helps her to remove some dust from her eye, and then he goes to his train. The encounter and the pleasant kindness soon happen again - Laura and Alec meet again at the station. The random encounters gradually become a conscience affection and friendship. However, both of them are committed to other people by marriage, which represents an insurmountable obstacle in the realization of their more intimate relationship, but nevertheless, there are no obstacles in creating romantic and tender feelings…
The movie shows archetypical feelings of duality between love feelings, and morally and socially conditioned behaviour. Through exquisite acting by Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, director David Lean managed to record the authenticity of human psychology in this, not so strange, life situation.
David Lean was born in 1908 in Corydon. He grew up in a strict Quaker family. His path to become a director was quite hard. He did some completely irrelevant jobs in film studios until Noel Coward gave him a chance for cooperation on a movie with a war theme, called In Which We Serve. He successfully directed lots of movies and he did some amazing film adaptations of some literature works, such as Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak or Great Expectations and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. He is considered as one of the most significant British directors. A survey made by British Film Institute in 1999 shows that on the list of 100 best British movies of the 20th century, there are five Lean’s titles, with three of them positioned among the first five. He died in London in 1991.