Scott Brown
May 16, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The End of the Affair

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
102 minutes
performer
Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore
director
Neil Jordan
distributor
Columbia Pictures
author
Neil Jordan
genre
War, Romance, Historical, Drama

We gave it a B+

Fiennes as a jealous misanthrope — sound familiar? But this staid adaptation of Graham Greene’s 1951 novel is savvier than ”The English Patient,” perhaps because it has more on its mind than vague geopolitical metaphors. Director Neil Jordan (”The Crying Game”) has simplified — but not gutted — Greene’s God-haunted love story about a married woman (Moore, with Oscar-bait tears and English accent), her paramour (Fiennes), and ”that other” who divides them one fateful night during the London blitz.

By the time you guess the identity of ”that other” (hint: it’s not Stephen Rea’s clueless cuckold), Jordan has quietly drawn us into an elegant theological debate, without sacrificing human passion. Somewhat regrettably, he chooses to end on a miracle instead of a mystery, but this is, after all, the movies, where ”The Sixth Sense” qualifies as a spiritual schooling.

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