During the war, novelist Maurice Bendrix falls in love with a married woman after they meet at a party thrown by her husband. He then suffers a freak accident and she brings the affair to an abrupt end. Confused and heartbroken, Maurice struggles to contain his jealousy.

4.5
The wartime and postwar London settings - real Brief Encounter territory with all the moral hangups and restrictions fully in evidence - are perfect.

On a street in post-war London, Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes), a bitterly unhappy writer, accidentally meets public servant Henry Miles (Stephen Rea) - the meeting brings back bitter memories for Bendrix because, during the war, he had had a passionate love affair with Miles` wife, Sarah, (Julianne Moore), and he still hasn`t got over the abrupt way she ended the affair. Miles tells Bendrix he suspects Sarah has a lover, he`s thinking of hiring a detective - now Bendrix is convinced the unfaithful Sarah left him for another man... Graham Greene is one of my favourite writers and The End of the Affair, published in 1951, is, I think, his best book. It was disappointingly filmed in 1955 with a very mis-cast Van Johnson in the lead, but with John Mills rather good as the seedy private detective; now Neil Jordan has made a consummate version of the story, keeping faithful to Greene - though making a few relatively minor changes to the book - and using multiple flashbacks to reveal, gradually and insiduously, two sides to the affair. Ralph Fiennes, sometimes a stiff actor, has never been better; Julianne Moore gives her finest performance; Stephen Rea is painfully right as her tormented husband; the wartime and postwar London settings - real Brief Encounter territory with all the moral hangups and restrictions fully in evidence - are perfect. A fine film, almost a great one. Margaret`s Comments:The anachronistic nature of this plot for anyone who`s even had a whiff of feminism in the last thirty years will be a major irritant. It`s just a story of infidelity, that`s all. It`s how each of these people deal with it that makes the plot. He`s angry and resentful, she`s enigmatically purist. I`m very suspicious of a story like this where God and fate conspire to make the woman the victim. To add to all this subtext you have two actors who present as quite cold and the plot doesn`t provide too many guidelines to give us access to their characters. We are told endlessly what a paragon this woman is, but we`re not presented with it on screen. To remake this film at the beginning of the second milennium seems to me a vast waste of time. 2 1/2 stars because Ralph Fiennes is surprisingly good, cold and bitter suits him. Julianne Moore presents her limited character as well as she can but Jordan perennial Stephen Rea has become too omnipresent in Jordan`s work, he`s become too obvious, which works against character.