Posted Oct 28 2015
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Love Is Strange - This Gentle Movie Gently Rocks

Dir: Ira Sachs

Starring Alfred Molina, John Lithgow, Marisa Tomei

Strange that this is called Love Is Strange (* - see below for explanation) as the love on display here is anything but. It’s genuine, sincere, moving and, more than anything, sweet. As is the movie as a whole.

Molina and Lithgow are lovers, together for decades who, following recent changes in US law, are finally able to marry. Only trouble is doing so costs Molina his job at a Catholic school and subsequently, their apartment. Forced to live separately with friends and relatives, they soon experience the way love shapes those they have held close, through the generations behind them, and how the small details of their established lives can become messy in the vicinity of others.

Sachs’ film is a small story, avoiding of any big dramatic moments, careful of observing its protagonists. It is touching, but in a small way, buoyed by the delightful, unassuming central performances from Lithgow and Molina. It is very simple, and very sweet. And in this case that’s enough.

 

(* Trivia note - The director explained to lastword that his movie was originally named for the Mickey & Sylvia classic. Prior to shooting, the song was to be used in the film, with Molina and Lithgow having rehearsed it extensively for the wedding reception scene. However, as production loomed, the Mickey & Sylvia estate decried that they could use the song but not use it as a title. So Sachs had to decide – title? Or song? He opted for the former and the boys went off to rehearse another song.)

 

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