Brief Encounter is a 1945 British film directed by David Lean about British suburban life, centering on Laura, a married woman with children whose conventional life becomes increasingly complicated because of a chance meeting at a railway station with a stranger, Alec. They inadvertently but quickly progress to an emotional love affair, which brings about unexpected consequences.
The film stars Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway and Joyce Carey. The screenplay is by Noel Coward, based on his 1936 one-act play Still Life. The soundtrack prominently features the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, played by Eileen Joyce.
The film shared the 1946 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. At the 19th Academy Awards, Celia Johnson was nominated for Best Actress while David Lean was nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay along with Anthony Havelock-Allan and Ronald Neame. In 1999 Brief Encounter came second in a British Film Institute poll of the top 100 British films. In 2004, the magazine Total Film named it the 44th greatest British film of all time. Derek Malcolm included the film in his 2000 column The Century of Films.