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Love is Strange

Ira Sachs’s refined Manhattan-set drama sees Alfred Molina’s Ben and John Lithgow’s George in the latter days of a tender, loving 39-year relationship.

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  • Director Ira Sachs
  • Producers Ira Sachs, Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy, Lucas Joaquin, Jayne Baron Sherman
  • Screenwriters Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
  • With Alfred Molina, John Lithgow, Marisa Tomei
  • USA 2013
  • 98 mins
  • UK distribution Altitude Film Distribution

Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On) delivers a tender, faultlessly observed drama about the latter days of a life-long love. The film opens with the joyous wedding of George and Ben (Alfred Molina and John Lithgow) who have been together for 39 years and are clearly a source of stability, warmth and inspiration to their wide circle of family and friends. When Ben loses his job as a music teacher at a Catholic school, the couple are forced to leave their Manhattan abode and separate, staying at different apartments while they hunt for a new place of their own. Both leads give nuanced, award-deserving performances, as does Marisa Tomei as their niece. George and Ben may inhabit a familiar Manhattan of West Side shoebox apartments, galleries and classical concerts, but it’s refreshingly peopled with all walks of life. This is a love story for grown-ups and also Sachs’ ode to the beauty of NYC.

Tricia Tuttle

Reviewed in Time Out

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