The Affair, based on the novel The Glass Room by Simon Mawer, is a Czech film in English.
In 1930s Czechoslovakia, two beautiful best friends, Liesel (Hanna Alström) and Hana (Carice van Houten), are both married to rich Jewish men who adore them. What could possibly go wrong? A lot. When German troops occupy Czechoslovakia at the beginning of World War II, Liesel and her husband, Viktor, flee to Switzerland. They continue to lead the good life and raise children. But under the surface, all is not well because Viktor is obsessed with his mistress, the family’s nanny, who was left behind.
But Liesel’s pain is nothing compared to what Hana is going through back in Brno, Czechoslovakia. Her husband loses everything, and Hana tries to support him by selling her body to a German engineer who designs airplanes for the Nazi military.
The Affair, like The Glass Room, is supposed to be about a famous architectural achievement in Brno, the Tugendhat Villa, which, in the film, is built for Liesel and Viktor. The engineer who Hana takes as her lover, has been moved into the Villa to do his work. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t find the story of the house that interesting, certainly not as interesting as Hana’s travails, and Liesel and Hana’s deep love for each other despite their lack of contact for decades.
For the record, although Carice van Houten has appeared in many films, including Black Book and Valkyrie, she is probably best-known for her role as Melisandre in “Game of Thrones.”