Readers of a certain age may remember “women’s pictures,” those four-hankie weepies from the 1940s and ’50s that starred such luminaries as Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in melo­dramatic tales of lone women and small-minded men. Celebrated British director Terence Davies has lovingly embraced the once-popular genre via an adaptation of the 1952 play The Deep Blue Sea, by the famed English playwright Terence Rattigan:

The film takes place in London in 1950. It tells the story of a melancholy woman, Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz), who abandons her secure but passionless marriage to the distinguished jurist Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale) in order to start an illicit affair with Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), a former RAF fighter pilot whose life has seemed aimless since the war ended.