On Chesil Beach (film)

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On Chesil Beach
On Chesil Beach (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Dominic Cooke
Produced by
Screenplay by Ian McEwan
Based on On Chesil Beach
by Ian McEwan
Music by Dan Jones
Cinematography Sean Bobbitt
Edited by Nick Fenton
Distributed by
Release date
  • 7 September 2017 (2017-09-07) (TIFF)
  • 18 May 2018 (2018-05-18) (United Kingdom)
Running time
110 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

On Chesil Beach is a 2017 British drama film directed by Dominic Cooke in his motion picture directorial debut. Ian McEwan adapted his own 2007 Booker Prize-nominated novella On Chesil Beach. It stars Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle, the film tells about young spouses Florence and Edward, who destroy their marriage because of fear of intimate relations.

The film had its world premiere in the Special Presentations section at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2017. It was released in the United Kingdom and United States on 18 May 2018.[1][2]




In 2010, Sam Mendes had signed on to direct the film with Focus Features developing. Carey Mulligan was in talks to star as Florence Ponting.[3] Shooting was delayed when Mendes' Skyfall went into production and Focus Features pulled out of development; in 2011, the film went back in to pre-production, this time with Mike Newell directing and Sam Mendes producing through his Neal Street Productions banner with StudioCanal and BBC Films. Later, production ceased after pre-production over-ran and the producers got cold feet.[4]

In February 2016, it was announced that Saoirse Ronan was to play Florence Ponting.[5][6] Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley produced the film under their Number 9 Films banner.[6] In May 2016, during the Cannes Film Festival, it was announced that BBC Films would co-produce the film;[7] in August 2016, Billy Howle joined the cast as the male lead.[8] In October 2016, it was announced that Thorsten Schumacher's new film and TV outfit Rocket Science had come on board to complete international sales.[9]


Principal photography began on 17 October 2016, on Chesil Beach, Dorset, England. Other filming locations included London, Oxford and Pinewood Studios in England.


Lionsgate acquired the distribution rights for the United Kingdom in October 2016.[10] On Chesil Beach had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2017.[11] Bleecker Street acquired the U.S. distribution rights in October 2017.[12]

On Chesil Beach was released in the UK on 18 May 2018.[13][1] Originally scheduled for theatrical release in the United States on 15 June 2018, the date was pushed up to 18 May 2018.[14][15]

Critical Response[edit]

The film has received positive reviews,[16][17] on review aggravator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 69% based on 80 reviews.[18] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 62 out of 100, based on 29 critics' reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[19]

The Economist praised McEwan's screenwriting for having "deviated from the source material in effective ways".[20]


  1. ^ a b Thomas, Lou (18 May 2018). "Adapting Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach: 'My advice would be don't worry about having sex tonight'". British Film Institute. Retrieved 23 May 2018. 
  2. ^ Chuba, Kirsten (February 16, 2018). "Bleecker Street Announces Release Dates, Including 'Colette,' 'Papillon,' 'On Chesil Beach'". Variety. Retrieved 16 February 2018. 
  3. ^ White, James (3 June 2010). "Sam Mendes Going On Chesil Beach". Empire Online. Retrieved 21 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Connelly, Brendan (5 November 2011). "Mike Newell Takes Over On Chesil Beach, Shows Off His Miss Havisham". BleedingCool.com. Retrieved 21 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (February 17, 2016). "Saoirse Ronan to Star in 'On Chesil Beach'". Variety. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Jafaar, Ali (17 February 2016). "Saoirse Ronan Boards 'On Chesil Beach' For 'Carol' Producer Number 9 Films". Deadline.com. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Jafaar, Ali (14 May 2016). "BBC Films Sets Morgan Matthews To Direct 'Gypsy Boy'; Boards 'On Chesil Beach' And 'Breathe' – Cannes". Deadline.com. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Lodderhose, Diana (22 August 2016). "Billy Howle Boards 'On Chesil Beach' For 'Carol' Producer Number 9 Films". Deadline.com. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  9. ^ Lodderhose, Diane (12 October 2016). "Former Hanway Films Exec Thorsten Schumacher Launches Rocket Science". Deadline.com. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  10. ^ Barraclough, Leo (31 October 2016). "Lionsgate Acquires U.K. Rights to 'Churchill', starring Brian Cox". Variety. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  11. ^ Pond, Steve (15 August 2017). "Aaron Sorkin, Brie Larson, Louis CK Movies Added to Toronto Film Festival Lineup". The Wrap. Retrieved 15 August 2017. 
  12. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (3 October 2017). "Bleecker Street Lands Toronto Title 'On Chesil Beach'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  13. ^ "On Chesil Beach". Launching Films. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  14. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (26 October 2017). "Bleecker Street Sets Release Dates For 'What They Had', 'Disobedience' & More". Deadline.com. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  15. ^ Hipes, Patrick (16 February 2018). "Bleecker Street Dates Its Big Sundance Buy 'Colette', 'Papillon' & More". Deadline.com. Retrieved 16 February 2018. 
  16. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (2017-09-08). "Toronto Film Review: 'On Chesil Beach'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-09-10. 
  17. ^ Erbland, Kate. "'On Chesil Beach' Review: Ian McEwan Adaptation Stars Saoirse Ronan | IndieWire". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2017-09-10. 
  18. ^ "On Chesil Beach", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2018-05-25 
  19. ^ "On Chesil Beach", Metacritic, retrieved 2018-05-25 
  20. ^ N.E.G. (19 September 2017). "The temptations and pitfalls of adapting your own novel for the screen". The Economist. 

External links[edit]