Sundance Film Review: Love Is Strange

Posted January 20, 2014 in
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Photo: Jeong Park

Love Is Strange
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Ira Sachs

Moving slowly and gracefully, Love Is Strange is a much-needed breath of fresh air blowing away the cobwebs of a tired romantic dramedy genre. In this truly unique story, partners of 39 years, Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) lose a coveted Manhattan apartment after their official marriage results in George’s termination from his job as a music teacher at a Catholic school, forcing them to temporarily move in with separate family members. Though the film touches on human rights issues of inequality, what sets this film apart from typical queer cinema is its subtlety. You’ll find no edgy, explicit, homoerotic scenes trying to win Oscars, but rather a beautiful portrait of unconditional true love made tangible by exceptional performances from Lithgow and Molina. The story is set to timeless classical piano music, which complements the quiet, upper-class Manhattan neighborhood backdrop in a Woody Allen style characterization of New York City. Though the camera lingers a bit long in some scenes, noted by restless sighs from a few audience members, I found myself wholly satisfied by its pacing, partially eased by its dynamic soundtrack and interesting B and C storylines with stellar supporting cast members Marisa Tomei and Charlie Tahan. This film is important and beautiful—don’t miss it.

Screenings:

Time: 1.22 9:30 PM Venue: Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City
Time: 1.25 8:30 PM Venue: The MARC, Park City
Time: 1.26 10 AM Venue: Sundance Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort

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