Love is Strange
Autumn 2014 Features series
Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 4:00pm
Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 7:00pm
Directed by Ira Sachs
Screenplay by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias
Starring Marisa Tomei, John Lithgow, Cheyenne Jackson, and Alfred Molina
Rated 14A ·
USA / France
English and Russian
Love Is Strange
Screened to critical acclaim at Sundance, Berlin and Tribeca, the poignant sixth feature by celebrated writer-director Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On, Married Life) is a captivating modern-day love story about a couple whose decades-long relationship is upset by a drastic and unexpected change in their lives.
Painter Ben (John Lithgow, Dreamgirls, Kinsey) and Catholic school choir director George (Alfred Molina, The Tempest, An Education) have been partners for nearly four decades. On the heels of the new US same-sex marriage laws, the couple finally takes their vows in front of their closest friends and family. However, when news of their nuptials reaches the school administrators, George is let go from the teaching post he has held for years. Without George’s steady income to help them cope with the high cost of living in Manhattan, the pair has to uproot their lives and impose themselves on the busy households of their loved ones.
Performances are key in intimate dramas such as this, and Lithgow and Molina are note-perfect in their roles, effortlessly suggesting Ben and George’s long history together in every casual action and interaction, while Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler; Crazy, Stupid, Love) leads an outstanding supporting cast with a delicate, lived-in performance. Ultimately, however, the film is Sachs’ triumph: a thoughtful, heartbreaking, and beautifully realized ode to love, family, and both the struggles and rewards of age.
“Love Is Strange emerges as a total triumph for Sachs and his co-leads, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, who, despite lengthy filmographies, turn in career-topping work, a sensitive domestic tragedy about the finite nature of any union.” (Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York)
“Calling Love Is Strange a great gay love story is both precise and inaccurate; I doubt I’ll see a more finely performed and beautifully crafted love story, with or without any mere modifiers, up on the big screen this year.” (James Rocchi, The Playlist)