Lenny Abrahamson. Sally Rooney and Alice Birch. At a secondary school in rural Ireland, County Sligo , a friendship sparks between the popular athlete Connell and outcast Marianne, which soon ignites into an intense romance. Connell lives at home with his kind mother, and Marianne lives in a mansion with her distant, busy mother and hateful brother.
Marianne confronts Connell about her feelings for him, but he's uncertain due to social pressures and keeps their acquaintance hidden. Connell and Marianne's romance blossoms, but he is eager to keep their relationship a secret to protect his high social standing in school.
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Connell and Marianne have sex and they continue to grow closer. However, Connell continues to ignore her in school. Marianne acts as though it is fine, but it puts their delicate connection under strain. Connell and his mother are very close in contrast to the high tension between Marianne and her family, which continues to grow. As their school days come to a close, Marianne cuts Connell off after a hurtful betrayal. Marianne turns up to a party, surprises everyone by looking glamorous. After a hurtful encounter at the party Connell drives her home, and they make up.
Connell doesn't ask Marianne to the debs , which is the final straw. His mum expresses Marianne's hurt, but Connell brushes it off. Marianne stays home on the night of the debs still feeling betrayed; meanwhile Connell dances the night away with Rachel. Later on, full of beer and regret, Connell stumbles home crying, contemplating his loss.
As he struggles to fit in at Trinity College, Connell is reunited with Marianne through Gareth, a classmate whom she is seeing. The tables are turned as Marianne has become the popular one and Connell the friendless loner. After meeting at a party, they decide they still want each other in their lives despite Marianne having moved on.
Late night calls and constant close contact means Marianne's bond with Connell grows stronger. He becomes a part of Marianne's clique, although doesn't really fit in. Connell apologises for how he previously treated her, leading to Marianne doubting her seemingly strong relationship with Gareth. After thinking it over, she abruptly dumps him and then sleeps with Connell soon after returning from a party.
However, someone else also has their eye on Marianne.
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For a while, things are ideal and Connell and Marianne's renewed relationship blossoms due to lack of pressure for once. Marianne goes home for a family dinner, which ends in tears due to more abuse from her brother.
After he loses his job, Connell can no longer pay his rent. Unable to stay and too ashamed to ask Marianne to stay at her place, he has to move back to Sligo. Their fling comes to an abrupt end but it is not clear why. Hettie Macdonald. Connell spends his days in Sligo getting drunk with old friends. Meanwhile, Jamie is finally free to make his move on Marianne and they start seeing each other. After meeting at the shop, Marianne and Connell rekindle their friendship. Connell goes back to college for his results then goes drinking after being accepted into the prestigious Schols programme along with Marianne.
She is celebrating with her friends and Jamie when Connell shows up bloody and drunk. Marianne tells Connell to leave after he tells her of his new girlfriend. Connell and Marianne discuss their breakup, and they realise it was due to a misunderstanding. Connell goes home to his girlfriend, Helen.
Connell and Niall have spent the summer backpacking Europe. They visit Marianne's summer family home in the Italian countryside, where Jamie and Peggy have also been spending time. During their evening dinner, Jamie's controlling attitude is apparent to all and the two reach a breaking point. She turns to Connell for protection and she stays in his room, where he comforts her.
Marianne is away on the Erasmus student exchange programme in Sweden where she finds herself in another unhealthy relationship with Lukas. In Ireland, Connell worries after Marianne's well-being, drawing the ire of Helen. We both feel blessed and thanks to you! What a great night! It's a challenge to meet similar minded people who are in the same circumstances.
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