LFF Official Competition spotlight: The Lovers
Get up to speed with the films playing in competition at this year's BFI London Film Festival. Today's pick: Azazel Jacobs’ The Lovers.
What's it about?
Delivering both belly laughs and gut-wrenching pathos, The Lovers is a romantic comedy that brings the zing into cheating. Husband and wife Michael (Tracy Letts) and Mary (Debra Winger) are both wrestling with extra-marital affairs, and poised to take decisive action on their fading relationship. They just need to get through a weekend visit from their son and his new girlfriend.
Who made it?
Director Azazel Jacobs returns, following Momma’s Man (LFF 2008), Terri (LFF 2011) and the TV series Doll & Em (LFF 2013), to bring audiences a witty film that swooshes along with a classic Hollywood score and showcases two knockout performances from Letts and Winger.
What people are saying
“A tart, smart, moving, and genuinely dramatic romantic comedy.” - Elise Nakhnikian, Slant
“It’s a hell of a role for Winger, her first lead for more than 20 years, and it acts as not only a showcase for her considerable talents but a reminder why women of her age deserve more screen time and respect. Her chemistry with Letts managing to convince through the difficulties and the joys.” - Benjamin Lee, The Guardian
Why we’re excited
“In Azazel Jacobs' wonderful third feature, Momma’s Man, a man returns to the home of his parents and finds himself reluctant or unable to leave. In The Lovers, despite the entreaties of their respective lovers, a couple find themselves reluctant or unable to leave their dead-end marriage due to the imminent return of their son from college. Both films are droll, beguiling and occasionally heartbreaking, and Jacob’s delicious sleight-of-hand is to leave motivation unexplained, which has the strange, cumulative effect of making things seem funnier and more melancholic at the same time. Debra Winger and Tracy Letts are utterly splendid conspirators, giving nothing (and everything) away. Rippling with wry intelligence, this is filmmaking that breathes like a good glass of red, and it features acting so terrific you will be yearning for the sequel while simultaneously wishing never to see these characters again." - Clare Stewart, Festival Director