Love Is Strange


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Alfred Molina and John Lithgow in Love Is Strange
"Courageous and uncompromising" | Photo: Jeong Park

Low budget, independent, writer/director, sensitive, gentle, no car chases equals worthy, well meaning, nothing much going on. People say, "Don't expect Star Wars." Others say, "You have to work at it."

Maybe. You have to let it in. That's the thing.

Ira Sachs avoids the box ticked cliches and achieves something surprising, a film that teases the intellect without leading the audience. Beautifully written and wonderfully played it deserves to be seen for its finesse. There are no conclusions, no statements of intent, only problems to be overcome and a genuine understanding of fate's hand in luck's roll of the dice.

Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) have lived together for 39 years. Now, because of a change in the law, they get married which results in George losing his job as music teacher in a Catholic school and they have to sell their New York apartment.

Where to go? What to do? Immediate family consult and, with a certain amount of resistance, offer to help. Ben, the artist, shares a room with his troubled teenage nephew, while George stays in another house. It is far from ideal but is what it is ("When you live with people you learn too much about them"), emphasising the fractured nature of change.

Character driven, character blessed, Love Is Strange negotiates the tribulations of intimacy within relationships.

Despite the subtlety of its expression, the film is courageous and uncompromising. If compassion is the light, isolation is the dark. Truth hurts and ignorance hides. Love is the last, best hope

Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2015
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The consequences of a gay marriage on family and friends.
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Director: Ira Sachs

Writer: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias

Starring: John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren E. Burrows, Charlie Tahan, Eric Tabach, John Cullum

Year: 2014

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US, France

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