Country: USA / France
Movie Review: If “Keep the Lights On” from two years ago had already given a considerable boost in Ira Sachs’ directorial career, “Love is Strange”, co-written with Mauricio Zacharias, has the merit of being a near-perfect drama that takes into a higher dimension. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are amazing as a gay couple who are together for almost forty years. They go through several financial problems after one of them has been fired right after getting married. This setback forces them to sell their beautiful apartment located in one of the best areas of New York city, and live temporarily apart with friends and family, while looking for a new place. The two men will have different experiences: George (Molina) stays with two gay cops who live in the lower floor and constantly give parties all night long, while Ben (Lithgow) goes to his nephew’s in Brooklyn, affecting deeply the professional life of his nephew’s wife, Kate (Marisa Tomei), as well as the private life of their teen son, Elliott. The film feels incredibly real and was conceived with superior cleverness. There’s so much sensitivity in every interaction without resorting to sentimental tricks, and every relationship is crafted with such confidence by the actors, that “Love is Strange” becomes one of the most accomplished and comprehensible dramas of the year. It depicts complexity in a simple way, and how people are vulnerable to abrupt changes in their lives. Funny, straightforward, involving at all occasions, tragic, and finally rewarding, we stand before a mature, modern narrative in which love is the only factor that is not in question.