Julian Fellowes, who won an Academy Award for his screenplay for Gosford Park, makes his directorial debut with this complex story about relationships. The movie stars Emily Watson as Anne, a woman with what appears to be an idyllic marriage to James (Tom Wilkinson). The couple travels contentedly between their two homes, one conveniently located close to James's London job, and the other one centered in a tranquil country community. James lives fully in the belief that he and Anne are both happy and fulfilled.
That happiness comes into question, however, when Anne meets a mysterious, blithe stranger named Bill (Rupert Everett). As she comes to know him, Anne begins to realize that she will never be truly happy with James again. Her secret affair can't last long, of course, and James becomes aware of what is going on when he learns that Anne and Bill were involved in a terrible accident that killed a local man. Determined to protect his wife, James responds to the situation with steely resolve and strength of mind. But the more he becomes involved in the investigation of the accident, the more life's unpredictability seems to intrude. (Kim Hollis/BOP)