Love Is Strange

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 02 Feb 2015
Film title: Love Is Strange
Director: Ira Sachs
Starring: John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren E Burrows, Charlie Tahan, Cheyenne Jackson, Manny Perez, Christina Kirk
Release date: 6 Feb (London West End); 13 Feb (Rest of UK)
Certificate: 15

In the vein of classics Tokyo Story and Make Way for Tomorrow, Ira Sachs’ Love Is Strange focuses on an older couple who are separated by circumstance and the domestic tragedy that gradually ensues. The recently married Ben (Lithgow) and George (Molina) have been in a relationship for nearly 40 years. When George is fired from his teaching post (71-year-old Ben is retired), they are forced to stay with friends and family members separately while they try to sell their now unaffordable New York home, and the living situation weighs heavily on all parties.

Sachs’ patient, intimate and nuanced vision ventures deeper than just the anxieties of its central relationship. When Ben ends up lodging with his filmmaker nephew (Burrows) and his writer wife (Tomei), buried tensions and petty grievances regarding loss of space and privacy soon bubble to the surface. Lithgow, Molina and Tomei deliver some of their finest ever work in this quietly moving look into the finite nature of so much of life, not just love. [Josh Slater-Williams]