Set in the insular world of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Two Lovers is a classic romantic drama, with Joaquin Phoenix giving a raw and vulnerable performance as Leonard, a charismatic but troubled young man who moves back into his childhood home following a recent heartbreak. While recovering under the watchful eye of his parents (Isabella Rossellini and Moni Monoshov), Leonard meets two women in quick succession: Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), a mysterious and beautiful neighbor who is exotic and out-of-place in Leonard’s staid world, and Sandra, the lovely and caring daughter of a businessman who is buying out his family’s dry-cleaning business.
Leonard becomes deeply infatuated by Michelle, who seems poised to fall for him, but is having a self-destructive affair with a married man. At the same time, mounting pressure from his family pushes him towards committing to Sandra. Leonard is forced to make an impossible decision – between the impetuousness of desire and the comfort of love – or risk falling back into the darkness that nearly killed him. –Official site
Bio: Writer/director James Gray made his first film Little Odessa (1994) at the age of twenty-four. The film, which starred Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Vanessa Redgrave and ‘Maximillian Schell’, received critical acclaim and was the winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Silver Lion Award in 1994.
Miramax Films released James Gray’s second feature, The Yards (2000) starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Faye Dunaway, Ellen Burstyn, Charlize Theron and James Caan in fall of 2000. The film was selected for official competition at the 2000 Cannes International Film Festival. Prior to ‘The Yards’ and ‘Little Odessa’, Gray attended film school at the University of Southern California. It was there that his student film Cowboys and Angels was first seen by producer Paul Webster, who encouraged Gray to write his first feature script.
As a child growing up in Queens, New York, Gray aspired to be a painter. However, when introduced in his early teenage years to the works… read more
Brilliant. Incredible, astonishing filmmaking. High volume emotional filmmaking. An absolute and complete masterpiece from an understated master. 5/5. I LOVE THIS FILM.
Something in particular that strikes me about this film: Two Lovers harkens to a doomed teen romance, in a sense. Here is Leonard, a man child, struggling to create a life independent from his parents (rebellion!). However, his attempts to break free from familial obligations are continually marred by his stunted maturity (teen!). Also, this is the first film I've actually liked Gwyneth Paltrow in. Yes, remarkable.
Lots of news, photos by Patrick Swirc, a trio of interviews featuring Abel Ferrara, Ernst Karel and Lewis Klahr & more.
Jordan Mintzer’s collection of interviews is an indispensable source of insight into one of today’s best American filmmakers.
Since it’s no secret by now that The Girlfriend Experience is my favorite movie poster of the year and since I already selected a few of these
A version of this essay was published in German, in the film magazine Cargo, in June, as a DVD review. The Auteurs Notebook now presents the
I think that there are two legitimate criticisms of this film. Firstly, some of the behaviour of the son is very implausible for a character apparently in his late 20s. For example, when the businessman’s… read review
I think this is the story of a man who wants to love and be loved back without having to accept he is damaged. Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) regrets the scars on his wrist because they… read review
O que é melhor: um bom roteiro com uma fraca produção, ou um roteiro fraco com uma boa produção? Dirigido por James Gray, “Amantes” é um filme que agrada, mas não encanta nem surpreende, promete mais… read review