4 and 1/2 years ago I posted a riff called “Lost, Gone, Blown.” It basically repeated the old saw about “happily ever after’ finales never sticking to your ribs. If they seem to half-deliver at first, they certainly don’t last in the memory.
The best love-story endings, as Sydney Pollack pointed out time and again, are ones in which it hasn’t worked out and the lead protagonists realize it’s gone for good. Final, irreparable. My three favorites at the time were the finales of Ang Lee‘s Brokeback Mountain, Hal Ashby‘s Shampoo and Pollack’s The Way We Were.
HE commenters mentioned Vertigo, Lost in Translation, Now Voyager, Casablanca, In the Mood for Love, Brief Encounter, A Star is Born, Annie Hall, Husbands & Wives, The Rapture, Monsieur Hire, White Men Can’t Jump, 500 Days of Summer, Up In The Air, Remains of the Day, The Graduate, Age of Innocence and House of Mirth.
What about films within the last four years? Manchester By The Sea and Call Me By Your Name, certainly. What others?