The cruelties of war are heart-wrenching, but not particularly new. More interesting is what the film says about love. Love with the pilot was instantaneous and physical. It was powerful enough to motivate a woman to put her life on the line by going into service. But the awful experience shared with Julien finally binds Charlotte more closely to him than romance, sex and security. The shared knowledge of the horrors one has faced and done. The ignorance of all others. It helps that Blanchett is beautiful and Crudup good-looking, but the psychological outcome of their scarring experience does not need external beauty for its justification.
Directed by Gillian Armstrong, the film is based on a novel by Sebastian Faulks.