Love is Strange (2014) MIFF Review


US 92 Mins

Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) have been in a relationship for 39 years when they are finally able to marry. However, unforeseen consequences occur, most significantly, George loses his music teaching job at a Catholic school. They hit a financial low and need to live apart with friends and family until they can sort things out.

It is a beautiful and gentle film that addresses so many issues, but for me, the most notable is that of aging. The feeling of becoming invisible, of having to rely on others and just of the changing nature of life. Add to that the challenges for the two men of being interlopers as well as suffering separation from each other; and on top of that, the friends and families suddenly have to deal with Ben and George in ways they probably would prefer not to.

At times, I became frustrated with the characters for being too selfish or for being ignorant of their place in the world, but that was because it was real. These situations would be hard and frustrating and painful. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina were perfect for the lead roles, portraying a long-term, caring, gentle and wonderful relationship. There was also an excellent supporting cast, including my favourite Marisa Tomei. I personally could have lost the last ten minutes or so, but I can see why it was there; I didn’t really want that closure.

Love is Strange is screening at 11:00am on Friday August 1 at ACMI, at 1:30pm on Sunday August 3 at the Capitol and on Monday August 11 at Hoyts. Book tickets at MIFF  or call 9662 3722

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