Love Is Strange (R)

Film

Drama

Love Is Strange

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

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Time Out says

Sun Jan 19

New York-based filmmaker Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On) creates a special kind of urbanity: softer and more inclusive than Woody Allen's, openly gay but family-focused, alive to the city's tensions and lulls. His latest movie also features a Chopin piano score, adding an exquisite sense of proportion to, what in the hands of most other directors, might have felt like a cautionary tale about the perils of gay marriage. Instead, 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.

Chatty painter Ben (Lithgow) and his music-teacher partner of nearly four decades, George (Molina), tie the knot in an idyllic, understated ceremony. The afterpary that follows—both men at the piano laughing, lasagna and heartfelt toasts being served—steers the movie economically onto accepting territory. But the outside ramifications are harsh: George's Catholic academy is forced to fire him and, only weeks after celebrating, the two find themselves cash poor, unable to maintain a mortgage and out of their elegant apartment. "Are you guys getting divorced already?" jokes the assembled clan when they break the news and ask for temporary shelter. Ben goes to his nephew's family (and a teen's bunk bed) while George crashes on the couch of a younger gay cop's boisterous party pad.

The film is too intelligent to turn into a sitcom of chafing sexual lifestyles. Rather, Sachs's nuanced theme is privacy, as relatives squirm not at their gentlemanly, staid houseguests but at their loss of space, while the separated lovers feel the awkwardness, too. Their relationship has been an endless conversation, and that's what's been interrupted most harmfully. (Lithgow and Molina convert their many chats into virtuoso arias of understated teasing, confession and regret.) It's a heartbreaker that Sachs sets their schism right at the moment when Ben's advanced age becomes an issue, cementing Love Is Strange as a sensitive domestic tragedy about the finite nature of any union.

The supporting cast is superb, particularly Marisa Tomei's novelist mom who, with gentle restraint, comes to see Ben as a threat to her concentration. But it's sullen child actor Charlie Tahan who nearly steals the picture in a quietly devastating climax, a private breakdown that suggests Ben and George may have affected everyone more deeply than they know. The kid then coasts down a city street on his skateboard to the setting sun, providing Love Is Strange with one of its most powerful images (in a film full of them). It's an essential—and essentially New York—story about limited room, limited time but incalculable attachment.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

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Release details

Rated:

R

US release:

Fri Aug 22, 2014

Duration:

94 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Ira Sachs

Screenwriter:

Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias

Cast:

John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Charlie Tahan, Darren E. Burrows

Movie Theaters showing Love Is Strange

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AMC Empire 25

234 W 42nd St, (at Eighth Ave), New York, 10036 Show map/details

  • Address:

    AMC Empire 25 234 W 42nd St
    New York
    10036

  • Cross Street:

    at Eighth Ave

  • Venue phone:

    888-262-4386

  • Venue website:

    amctheatres.com/empire

  • Transport:

    Subway: N, Q, R, 42nd St S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St–Times Sq; A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority

  • Map

    1. AMC Empire 25
Map

Angelika Film Center

18 W Houston St, (at Mercer St), New York, 10012 Show map/details

  • Address:

    Angelika Film Center 18 W Houston St
    New York
    10012

  • Cross Street:

    at Mercer St

  • Venue phone:

    212-995-2000

  • Venue website:

    angelikafilmcenter.com

  • Transport:

    Subway: B, D, F, M to Broadway–Lafayette St; 6 to Bleecker St

  • Price:

    $14, seniors and children $11

  • Map

    1. Angelika Film Center
Map

BAM Rose Cinemas

30 Lafayette Ave, (between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St), Brooklyn, 11217 Show map/details

  • Address:

    BAM Rose Cinemas 30 Lafayette Ave
    Brooklyn
    11217

  • Cross Street:

    between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St

  • Venue phone:

    718-636-4100

  • Venue website:

    bam.org

  • Transport:

    Subway: B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave–Barclays Ctr; G to Fulton St

  • Price:

    $13; seniors, students (Mon–Thu only) and children (weekdays) $9; BAM Cinema Club members $8

  • Map

    1. BAM Rose Cinemas
      • 30 Lafayette Ave
        Brooklyn
        11217
      • 718-636-4100
      • bam.org
      • 40.68645,-73.977703
Map
  • Tue Sep 16:

    • 4:30pm
    • 7:00pm
    • 9:30pm
  • Wed Sep 17:

    • 4:30pm
    • 7:00pm
    • 9:30pm
  • Thu Sep 18:

    • 4:30pm
    • 7:00pm
    • 9:30pm

Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas

260 W 23rd St , (between Seventh and Eighth Aves), New York, 10011 Show map/details

  • Address:

    Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas 260 W 23rd St
    New York
    10011

  • Cross Street:

    between Seventh and Eighth Aves

  • Venue phone:

    212-777-3456

  • Venue website:

    bowtiecinemas.com

  • Transport:

    Subway: C, E, 1 to 23rd St

  • Price:

    $7.50–$17.75

  • Map

    1. Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas
Map
  • Tue Sep 16:

    • 10:00am
    • 12:20pm
    • 2:40pm
    • 5:00pm
    • 7:20pm
    • 9:40pm
  • Wed Sep 17:

    • 10:00am
    • 12:20pm
    • 2:40pm
    • 5:00pm
    • 7:20pm
    • 9:40pm
  • Thu Sep 18:

    • 10:30am
    • 12:50pm
    • 10:15pm

Cobble Hill Cinemas

265 Court St, (between Butler and Douglass Sts), Brooklyn Show map/details

  • Address:

    Cobble Hill Cinemas 265 Court St
    Brooklyn

  • Cross Street:

    between Butler and Douglass Sts

  • Venue phone:

    718-596-9113

  • Venue website:

    cobblehilltheatre.com

  • Transport:

    Subway: F, G to Bergen St

  • Price:

    $9.50, seniors and children $6.50; 3D admission $12, children $9; Tue, Thu (except special occasions), and Mon, Wed, Fri until 5pm $6.50

  • Map

    1. Cobble Hill Cinemas
Map
  • Tue Sep 16:

    • 1:00pm
    • 3:20pm
    • 5:40pm
    • 8:00pm
  • Wed Sep 17:

    • 1:00pm
    • 3:20pm
    • 5:40pm
    • 8:00pm
  • Thu Sep 18:

    • 1:00pm
    • 3:20pm
    • 5:40pm
    • 8:00pm

Kew Gardens Cinemas

81-05 Lefferts Blvd, (Austin St), Kew Gardens, 11415 Show map/details

  • Address:

    Kew Gardens Cinemas 81-05 Lefferts Blvd
    Kew Gardens
    11415

  • Cross Street:

    Austin St

  • Venue phone:

    718-441-9835

  • Transport:

    Subway: E, F to Kew Gardens–Union Tpke

  • Map

    1. Kew Gardens Cinemas
      • 81-05 Lefferts Blvd
        Kew Gardens
        11415
      • 718-441-9835
      • 40.709167,-73.829955
Map
  • Tue Sep 16:

    • 1:00pm
    • 3:15pm
    • 5:30pm
    • 7:45pm
  • Wed Sep 17:

    • 1:00pm
    • 3:15pm
    • 5:30pm
    • 7:45pm
  • Thu Sep 18:

    • 1:00pm
    • 3:15pm
    • 5:30pm
    • 7:45pm

Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

1886 Broadway, (at 62nd St), New York, 10023 Show map/details

  • Address:

    Lincoln Plaza Cinemas 1886 Broadway
    New York
    10023

  • Cross Street:

    at 62nd St

  • Venue phone:

    212-757-2280

  • Venue website:

    lincolnplazacinema.com

  • Transport:

    Subway: A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th St–Columbus Circle

  • Price:

    $13, seniors and children $9

  • Map

    1. Lincoln Plaza Cinemas
Map
  • Tue Sep 16:

    • 11:20am
    • 1:15pm
    • 3:15pm
    • 5:15pm
    • 7:20pm
    • 9:30pm
  • Wed Sep 17:

    • 11:20am
    • 1:15pm
    • 3:15pm
    • 5:15pm
    • 7:20pm
    • 9:30pm
  • Thu Sep 18:

    • 11:20am
    • 1:15pm
    • 3:15pm
    • 5:15pm
    • 7:20pm
    • 9:30pm

Users say

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Average User Rating

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