Love Is Strange

2014

Action / Drama / Horror / Romance

54
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 67%
IMDb Rating 0 10 0

Synopsis


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January 27, 2015 at 11:40 AM

Director

Cast

Marisa Tomei as Kate Hull
John Lithgow as Ben Hull
Alfred Molina as George Garea
1080p.BLU
1.44 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 34 min
P/S 1 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by graupepillard 10 / 10

A film about gay love and marriage in NYC and the complications affecting many lives that ensue after the wedding.

LOVE IS STRANGE, a film, unaffectedly directed by Ira Sachs, is so natural and unassuming in its portrayal of relationships that the divide between audience and the characters on the screen disappears; we are directly slipping into their lives with the ease of familiarity. There is a formal beauty to the movie, thanks to the cinematography of Christos Voudouris - the way he captures each space - delineated not only through décor, but through the light which mutates with the atmosphere, very much like a Chardin still-life painting, classic in its grandeur and silence.

The plot revolves around two gay men who have lived together for 39 years and finally get married, a decision that will alter their lives in ways that are unexpected and transforming. We first meet Ben, a seventy-one year old artist, (John Lithgow in a breathtaking performance) and his partner George (Alfred Molina in an equally fine portrayal,) a music teacher in a Catholic school - both excitedly, and nervously preparing for the ceremony and the post- wedding party. From the moment we first view Lithgow and Molina singing a duet together - their voices and theatrics in synch and at odds - tender intimacy is apparent. Ira Sachs and co-writer Mauricio Zacharias have created two remarkably gentle and loving individuals, their intimacy and enduring connection, is both understated and powerfully passionate.

The consequences of ultimately legitimizing their union bear witness to the harsh realities that accompany that choice. Soon after the nuptials, George gets fired from his job, and the economic demands of existing in NYC, forced to sell the apartment in order to find more affordable housing, interrupts their former cadence of living. Having no alternative, George and Ben, temporarily separate to move in with friends and relatives till they can find a home of their own. Molina and Lithgow stunningly convey the anguish of living apart and the intense longing of being united again. It is as if one person is sliced in half – going through the motions, but not fully functioning without the other.

LOVE IS STRANGE also references the mysterious corridor of generational diversity - both fractious and enriching. The anxious, rebellious teenager slowly embracing life's uncertainties embodied by Joey, Ben's great-nephew in an excellent performance by Charlie Tahan who is likable, secretive and obnoxious – an eternal artifact of an adolescent's growing awareness of life's promises and aching discomforts. And approaching mid-life, are his parents - Kate (Marisa Tomei - a natural wonder) - a writer trying to meet the demands of motherhood and still do her own work and Elliot (Darren E. Burrows) a father too wrapped up in doing business (supporting the family?) to notice the splintering family dynamic. Tomei's facial expressions convey a woman's inner tug-of-war between being a caregiver and accomplishing her own ambitions, shifting from haggardly frustrated to a luminous empathy, particularly for the growing pains of her son on the cusp of adulthood.

Director Ira Sachs has given us a tone poem to the beauty, delight and fragility of living in a city - New York - dynamic, diverse and constantly changing, echoing the vicissitudes of life as we stumble through our own personal unfolding. A love story that has depth and endurance - delicate and supple, both romantic and mundane, LOVE IS STRANGE is wrenchingly lovely and generous, but also a reminder that nothing is permanent.

Reviewed by keithhmessenger 9 / 10

Homeless In New York

On rewatching writer-director Ira Sachs' touching, perfectly-formed, 2014 low-key drama, it struck me that one of the most thought-provoking things about the film is the multi-dimensional potential of its title. Not only does Sachs' choice to portray the deep affection felt between two ageing homosexuals set his drama apart (even now) from the mainstream of Hollywood films, but a relationship longevity of 39 years is an equally rare thing it seems these days. Most pivotally for Sachs' narrative, though, is the fact that the choice made by Alfred Molina's Catholic school music teacher, George, and John Lithgow's artist, Ben, to seal the marital knot on their obviously loving relationship provokes the powers that be to sack George from his job, thereby forcing the couple to sell their New York apartment and to take up offers of (hopefully temporary) accommodation with family and neighbours, in the process necessitating the pair's physical separation.

What follows is a perfectly judged, naturalistic drama, full of moments of poignancy and wry humour, perceptively co-written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, and touching on themes of family dysfunction, intergenerational difference, guilt and regret, in which we really feel for George and Ben as seemingly helpless victims of unfair circumstance. Sachs' observational touch is particularly adept around the intergenerational angle, for which, amongst an all-round superlative cast, Marisa Tomei's niece to Ben, Kate, and her son, Charlie Tahan's Joey are outstanding. The film's subtle, poetic qualities are also enhanced by the choice of some sublime Chopin piano music, whilst Christos Voudouris' cinematography, though generally unfussy, also gives us some memorable sunsets of the New York skyline. The film's narrative arc and its take on the bittersweet nature of fate and fortune also culminates in one of the most strikingly uplifting closing sequences that I can recall anywhere, providing us with a final dimension and take on Sachs' film title.

Reviewed by edwagreen 7 / 10

***

Alfred Molina and his partner give bravura performances, but enough with the gay thing already.

We see joy at the wedding of the couple, only to see one lose his job as a music teacher at a Catholic school for obvious reasons afterwards.

As stated, the acting is excellent and Marisa Tomei steals every scene she is in as the aunt-by-marriage to one of the gay partners in the film.

The story also points out the apartment crisis in the city once the couple loses their apartment and is forced to live separately while desperately searching for new digs. That part of the film reminded me of the great Make Way for Tomorrow, circa 1937 with Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi. Housing affects all people regardless of sexual orientation.

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