Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Love Is Strange


Few movies about life have at their heart a stable and loving relationship , for angst often is mistaken for a more cracking cinematic drama than everyday, " mundane" love.
"Love Is Strange" is therefore a rare beast, for at it's heart is a stable, loving and totally believable love affair between fifty something music teacher George ( Alfred Molina) and seventy something artist Ben ( John Lithgow).
We first meet the pair on the morning of their wedding as they bicker and spar in their Manhattan apartment and from the get go the film captures perfectly that every day ease long term partners possess in bucketfuls. It is clear that this movie isnt after histrionics and queeny drama.


Through a series of beautifully shot scenes,all bookended with George's students' Musical set pieces, the film follows the couple's unexpected separation. for after their marriage George is fired from his catholic school job and the pair have to sofa surf at friends' and family's apartments for a while when their own home is put on the market.
Through problems with personal space, moody nephews, exasperated nieces ( a great understated performance by Marisa Tomei btw)and claustrophobic new living places, Ben and George's relationship remains strong , affectionate and unwavering and it is clear that the audience really longs for the time when their pair finally get together, such is the winning performance by Molina and Lithgow....
It's a wise and lovely movie.
8/10

38 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great movie, I do like John Lithgow.

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    1. I loved John Lithgow in The World according to Garp. A brilliant book and the movie was just as good as the book .xx

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    2. Funny but he's not a fav actor of mine... But in this he was lovely

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    3. Strange, Leisha, that you should mention John Lithgow and 'Garp'. I'm just re-reading the book, 34 years after the first time, and liking it much more than before. (I thought Irvings 'A Prayer for Owen Meany' an absolutely remarkable read).

      Lithgow's part in the film of 'Garp' as the 'trans' friend of Robin Williams (in the title role) is the one thing, almost the only thing, I remember about the film, seen around the same time. It's a performance that can never be forgotten, unlikely as he seemed to be for the role, at least physically. But for me Lithgow has always reliably delivered value for money.

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    4. Lithgow was brilliant in the movie and the character I I remember too. Especially the line "well I had mine surgically removed ......"! I must reread the book too .

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  2. Thanks. I no longer need to go and watch it.

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    1. You wouldnt go anyway you bad tempered old fart

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    2. Hahaha! I'm sure I am missing some very important nuance here but you two are like sparks off a knife sharpener... why do you both bother. Not that it is any of this nosy cows business by the way but none the less.....

      Jo in Auckland, Nz

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    3. We've been like this for years jo

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  3. I saw previews for this recently; now I wanna go see it!

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  4. I also like John Lithgow and shall seek out this film.

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    1. He's the best thung in the movie

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  5. I am glad you liked it. I heard about it, wanted to see it, forgot. You have reminded me.

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  6. Sounds right up our alley. Thanks John.

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  7. I love films like this.I will look out for it.Marisa tomei is a very under rated actress.have you seen the film Frozen River with Melissa Leo.put it on few weeks ago while I did the ironing and was hooked.totally absorbing film.worth a look.

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    1. Frozen river is one of my very fav movies .
      leo's best movie
      I wrote a review of it ages ago
      http://disasterfilm.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=Frozen+river

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  8. This looks like something I would enjoy; thanks for the review.

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  9. I read your review of frozen river John,back in 2009 would you believe!did you know Misty Upham who played Lila died in 2014?

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  10. I've been looking forward to this film. Even more now you reviewed it so nicely.

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  11. I remember that the reviews of this movie were very good and John Lithgow was praised for his performance.. It came and went quickly because it was about people and not zombies and I missed it. You have reminded me about it so I will check it out on cable and hopefully will be able to watch this fine movie. I have a feeling I will cry, but that will be fine since I am Irish. We live for sad, emotional stories.

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  12. I too loved this movie and John Lithgow could read the phonebook to me and I would be entranced. Also Molina.
    Brilliant job, loved it was so unsentimental and unswishy.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Molina, ah, Prick up your Ears, I think.

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  14. We enjoyed it too. I enjoyed the bit where Ben conned the bartender out of a drink.

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  15. I always enjoy your film crits John - we rarely go to the cinema so I get a potted version second hand from you.

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  16. I'll add it to my list to watch someday

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  17. Thanks for sharing your review. I'll watch for it.

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  18. I love these two actors and this sounds like a fabulous watch. Thanks!

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  19. Since John Lithgow's season on the show Dexter (where he played a depraved serial killer) I can't see him without getting a cold chill down my spine. He was SO CREEPY in that role!

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  20. I saw this movie about a month ago. It was heart breaking in spots. I think the stress is what brought on Ben's demise. And the stress brought on by the "holier than thou's"

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  21. Couldn't be a more different role for John Lithgow from his psychopathic character in 'Ricochet'. Love him in '3rd Rock From The Sun' too. He sure is versatile...

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  22. Hits on some of the deep-seated fears of the like-gendered couple. What if it all goes tits-up because of your relationship,and who would support you? So refreshing to hear of any portrayal of healthy love, no matter the genders involved.

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  23. Definitely want to see this. The story sounds similar to a Hollywood film called Make Way for Tomorrow from the 1930's; an elderly couple runs out of money and loses their home. None of their middle-aged children are willing to take in both of them so the mother goes with one, the father with another. They miss each other dreadfully and rarely get to see one another. Quite sad :(

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    1. Well remembered....its now obvious where the inspiration lies
      Thank you

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  24. When I think of my favorite movies, there's not a lot of love. Friendship, maybe.

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    1. Whare are your favs susie?

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