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The Bridges of Madison County

The beautiful tragedies the human spirit is capable of and the social conundrum of passion versus responsibility, contentment versus excitement and love versus desire are bought to life in one of the saddest, most beautiful stories of recent times.

Italian immigrant farm wife Francesca (Streep) has a contented life, neither too racy nor too empty, truly loving her family. When well-travelled National Geographic photographer Robert (Eastwood) turns up to photograph the many covered road bridges across the rivers of her pretty rural area, the spark of interest turns from a friendly chat to a night of passion.

The transition (and 'falling in love') is excruciating and beautiful, as naked a show of the attraction between human beings as has ever been filmed. Despite a few gorgeous and languorous days of believing she could lose herself in heaven forever, Francesca has to ask Robert to leave in exquisitely portrayed agony. It culminates in her seeing him in his truck in front of her while her husband and her sit in traffic. Her finger rests on the door handle of the car as if wanted to rush out of its own accord - the threshold between a promised lifetime of passionate love and the staid contentment she'll always know.

There isn't much to say about the beauty of emotion and attraction portrayed by a fantastic script and direction that hasn't been said, other than that they are effective enough to make this one of the most romantic and heart wrenching films ever.

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