Director: James Gray (We Own the Night, The Yards, Little Odessa)
Screenplay: James Gray, Ric Menello
Producers: James Gray, Donna Gigliotti, Anthony Katagas
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, Elias Koteas, Moni Moshonov
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 110 min.
Irecall walking away from James Gray’s We Own the Night thinking that I’d just seen the beginning of something special. Though the film was overlooked by critics and the general public there was something about it that sat with me long after the credits rolled. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Bobby Green was understated but powerful and Gray’s direction was demure and beautiful.
I instantly paid a little more attention when a new Phoenix/Gray collaboration was announced and when the trailer for Two Lovers premiered, I knew it was a film I had to see even if the trailer was misleading (as I assumed it was). The trailer does this film very little justice.
Phoenix plays Leonard Kraditor, a man who moved back with his parents after his ex-fiance’s family canceled their wedding. He took the breakup badly, retreating into a world of self abuse and attempted suicides eventually returning home to start rebuilding his life. But months have passed and though he appears to be getting better, his parents are visibly worried and they want him to move on with his life. They devise a plan to set him up with Sandra (Vinessa Shaw), the daughter of a local business owner. Things start off well and the two seem to hit it off but things aren’t as perfect as they appear. Immediately after meeting Sandra, Leonard meets Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), his new upstairs neighbor and becomes instantly smitten by both her looks and her personality. In an instant Leonard goes from meek and shy to juggling two very different women in two very different relationships.
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