For Reel

Love Is Strange (2014)
January 15, 2015, 5:36 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Ira Sachs
4.5 Stars
Love Is StrangeDirector Ira Sach’s fifth feature reimagines a Depression-age classic for our current economic crisis. Make Way for Tomorrow, the best tearjerker of the 1930s (or any other decade, for that matter), followed an elderly couple who lose their home to foreclosure and must turn to their children for housing, only none of them are willing to take in both parents. Love Is Strange echoes this set up, replacing a she for a he, in a story about aging on both a personal and generational scale. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are ill-afforded the opportunity to play characters like these in Hollywood these days, and both deliver tender and beautiful performances. Lithgow, in particular, is revelatory–he’s recognizable either for his manic energy or for his everyman cheer, and here he effectively plays a wizened, courteous, and generally needy man. There’s a terrific scene in which Lithgow asks a series of questions to his nephew’s wife (Marisa Tomei) as she’s trying to write. He’s being kind, but it’s clear to the audience that although she is doing her best to be empathetic to his situation she is losing her patience with him. The scene doesn’t end with an explosion, but with a teasing one-liner. Much of the film follows suit. Like Boyhood, big moments and emotional breakdowns are often obscured in favor of the smaller, more intimate ones, which ultimately reveal the most about a person.

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