On Chesil Beach

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United Kingdom | 2017 | 110 minutes | Dominic Cooke

Three-time Academy Award®-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan and rising star Billy Howle play young newlyweds whose honeymoon becomes a comedy of sexual errors in this funny and heartbreaking period drama about the fragility of human relationships.

SIFF is pleased to return to the community of Shoreline for the third year in a row! Thank you to Shoreline Community College and the City of Shoreline for hosting SIFF. 

It's the summer of 1962 in England along the beautiful seashore of Chesil Beach, and Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) have come together to embark on their honeymoon. The conflict? Both Florence and Edward are virgins in every sense of the word: timid, shy, sexually inexperienced-and unfamiliar with how to maintain everlasting relationships. Offered with light humor initially to relate the awkwardness that all young lovers experience, Florence and Edward's inability to love each other soon hint at a more realistic and poignant truth: that no matter how affectionate the smile, the heart cannot be forced to love. Told through multiple flashbacks, it's revealed that Florence and Edward are from two different worlds, with Florence coming from an upscale middle-class family and with dreams of becoming a prominent violinist. Edward, on the other hand, has a mind for history but must subordinate his desires because of his countryside upbringing. While these differences seem small at first, they, along with other subtler distinctions, become profound and acute, eventually defining Florence and Edward's inability to love. On Chesil Beach is British theater director Dominic Cooke's film debut, and it is a wonderful, sensitive, and emotionally telling piece of what it means to love–as well as what it means to let love go.

Director Biography
Dominic Cooke is an award-winning English stage actor, director, and writer. Born in Wimbledon, London, Cooke later graduated from Warwick University and became an assistant director at the Royal Shakespeare Company. His work includes directing his own version of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" and winning the Olivier Award for it in 2007. He has additionally directed several episodes for the miniseries "The Hollow Crown" (2012) that are adaptations of Shakespeare's history plays. In 2014, Cooke was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire during New Year Honors for his services in drama.

Sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company

  • Director: Dominic Cooke
  • Principal Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff, Samuel West, Adrian Scarborough, Billy Howle
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Producer: Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley
  • Screenplay: Ian McEwan
  • Cinematographers: Sean Bobbitt
  • Editors: Nick Fenton
  • Music: Dan Jones
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: National Theatre Live: The Comedy of Errors (2012)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Bleecker Street
  • International Sales: Rocket Science, CAA