Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Nominee #14 - Enduring Love (2004)
A shocking tragic incident pushes two complete strangers into a more shocking experience, confusing obsession with love.
Director: Roger Michell
Writers: Ian McEwan (novel), Joe Penhall (screenplay)
Stars: Rhys Ifans, Daniel Craig, Samantha Morton
How far will you go? Based on Ian McEwan's novel of the same name, the movie Enduring Love (2004) opens with a scene at once unforgettable and overpowering.
A man (Daniel Craig) and his partner are out on a field picnic. At first there’s no one else in sight. Just green, green grass on land and blue blue sky above and rolling hills in the background. He sits opposite her and they’re about to share a glass of wine amidst all that tranquility when the peace is broken quietly but surely – by a hot-air balloon in the distance. Not up in the air but skipping along on the same grassy field. At first she’s the only one seeing it; his back is to the balloon. It’s only when she gets up in alarm, her eyes fixed on the balloon behind that he realises something’s wrong. They’re both on their feet. The balloon is huge. Part of it resembling the comforting roundness of a Boeing 747 cockpit hump and the rest of it looking no less small.
How far will you go?
A man and a small boy are in the basket. The man’s trying to get the basket to land but as he struggles with the controls it bumps hard into the grass, knocking him clean out, leaving the boy inside alone. The man picks himself up from the grass in pain and scurries after the giant rope in the hope of pulling the thing down but the wind’s lifting the balloon up off the ground and dragging him along. The boy remains frozen in the basket as the man lets out incoherent instructions to the boy while realising that his weight’s simply not enough.
Luckily, as Craig runs toward the balloon, three other men have seen the same thing. They rush to the field from different directions converging on the balloon with one thing in mind, to wrestle it down with sheer weight - theirs! And they do. As the balloon settles down Craig chats the boy up asking him to hop off but even as the men are holding it down the basket lifts as a gust of wind steals past them into the balloon. And this time it heaves, all five of them..........high. First a few inches, then feet, then a clear storey above the grass. The boy lies embryo-like on the basket floor, the men hanging on to the basket and rope quickly and fearfully see that they’re hanging too high. And let go, one by one, until only one remains hanging. She’s joined them by now. And they watch that man soar high, hanging on, alone. And for a few agonising moments – standing together - they’re alone too. Then he drops to his death. We the audience ‘die’ with the man on the ground.