This is a nice little film somewhat reminiscient of Brief Encounter. Like that film, The End of the Affair is the story of a doomed romance set around the time of the second world war. Here, a writer (Ralph Fiennes) and a married woman (Julianne Moore) meet and fall in love during the blitz in London. Her husband (Stephen Rea) is suspicious and a private detective is hired to follow the wife. This movie is almost entirely contained among these few characters. Ralph Fiennes puts in another smoldering performance although his character is very similar to the one he played in The English Patient. Julianne Moore is also good as the unhappy wife. No explanation is given as to why she is American other than to have one US actor for the American audience to recognize. I spent the whole movie trying to decide whether she was doing an english accent. The incomparable Stephen Rea, best known for The Crying Game, is great here too as the mousy husband. He is one of my favorite actors.
The End of the Affair is from the book by Graham Greene and is directed by Neil Jordan who also directed The Crying Game. Although there are no car chases or gunplay, this plot plays out in an interesting and complex manner. You have to stay awake though because the story is told partially in flashbacks and you have to keep your wits about you to figure out whether you are in the past or the present in any given scene. This is a film like The Winslow Boy where not much happens but the acting and the writing are so good, that it is a joy to watch.