Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Love Is Strange," Directed By Ira Sachs

"Love Is Strange" begins with the marriage of Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) two Manhattan seniors. Following this joyful ceremony, George is fired from his job teaching music at a Catholic school because, though it's been known for years that he's been living with Ben, his same-sex marriage is viewed as a violation of his contract. The couple is then faced with the realities of New York City real estate. Ben, a painter, is retired and George's loss of income means that they can no longer afford the mortgage on their apartment. In their search for affordable housing, they put themselves on lists with endless applicants. Their friends, all of whom are willing to help, don't have the space to accommodate them both. George is afforded a couch in the downstairs apartment of two gay, younger policemen, who treat him kindly but throw noisy parties where he feels out of place. Ben moves in with his nephew, Elliot (Darren Burrows), his wife, Kate (Marisa Tomei) and their teen-age son, Joey (Charlie Tahan). Joey increasingly resents Ben's presence in the lower part of the bunk bed in his room and Kate, a novelist, is exasperated with his need for conversation while she's trying to write. Despite their dislocations, Ben and George's essential connection is not severed, and Ben's impact on the moody Joey goes deeper than the latter realized in this poignant, moving and believable film.

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