On a rainy night in 1946, novelist
Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) has a chance meeting with Henry Miles (Stephen
Rea), husband of his ex-mistress Sarah (Julianne Moore), who abruptly ended their
affair two years before. As the story unfolds we are drawn deeper and deeper into
the mystery of why Sarah ended a relationship which seemed so overpowering and
satisfying to both lovers.
Bendix suspects that Sarah has fallen in love
with another man, and he even follows her to a rendezvous with her secret, new
lover. This turns out to be, however, a classic case of mistaken identity. Indeed,
Sarah has another relationship, but itís not with a man. The rival for Sarahís
commitment is none other than God. Never have I seen a movie that comes closer
to telling it like it is: that a relationship with the Almighty can be as powerful
and compelling as a love affair with another human being.
movie is very much a mirror of the post World War II Roman Catholicism of Graham
Greene, author of the book on which this film is based. From this perspective
it is perfectly understandable that a passionate, but unhappily married woman
could see her fate as being torn between an illicit love for another man and her
love for a God to whom she could be faithful only were she to end the affair.†
If you want to talk with someone in person, please feel free to call 212-864-5436
The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and
Executive Director of CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here. God and Science (Hypertext Edition,
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion: Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).
Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.