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The End of The Affair: Movie Review

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.

Still, this 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.†

More on The End of the Affair from Graham Greene himself.

And for a review of another film reflecting a more contemporary take on Roman Catholicism: Dogma

Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
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, 2005).
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.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.
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