If Celia Johnson's bored housewife had run off with Trevor Howard, this is the fate that would have befallen her. (Telegraph)
This was an England scarred by war, a world of blistering paint and shillings for the gas, and redundant heroes.
You could almost smell the brown-ness of 1950, the whiff of tweeds that are hardly ever dry-cleaned.
I emerged from the cinema feeling wrung out by the heart-wrenching music, which is exactly right, and by Rachel Weisz's emotionally-shattering performance.
My only criticism is that she is too beautiful (and doesn't look old enough) to be Hester, the married woman who stakes everything on her all-consuming love for a younger man.
(I'm sure I saw The Deep Blue Sea years ago in the theatre, with Penelope Wilton more convincingly careworn and battered.)
The film ends, literally, on a flicker of hope. That could easily be blown out. It's had mixed reviews, but I loved every heart-breaking, miserable moment.