, it begins by submerging viewers in layers of time: first, a shot of a rusty bridge, with a young soldier walking by; then a darkened den with Eric stretched out on the floor, trembling, muttering a rhyme; then the British equivalent of a VFW hall, where he sits apart from a group of men, one of whom, Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård), prods Eric to say what's on his mind; then a flashback to a platform where Eric is rushing to board the train on which he will meet Patti for the first time. It's 1980. Once Patti and Eric get together-it happens rather sweetly and suddenly, with Patti quickly dispatching Eric's mustache-the film sprints forward, with a series of vignettes telegraphing the nature of their third-act relationship to us. They're both older, carrying some life baggage, but Patti is a nurse and is confident that she can mend whatever hurt Eric has suffered. They marry.