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Dominic Cooke

On Chesil Beach

On Chesil Beach represents my early pick for Best Picture.

Adapting his own novella, Ian McEwan presents a heartbreakingly honest portrait of a newlywed couple and the qualities that tear them apart. Beautifully conceived by director Dominic Cooke and lensed by cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, its narrative layers naturally coalesce in this meditation on love, cultural mores, and personal sacrifice.

The chemistry between rising star Billy Howle and Saoirse Ronan—who has matured into the finest actress of her generation since she appeared in Joe Wright’s adaptation of McEwan’s Atonement—is palpable. They carry emotional weight capable of moving audiences to tears.