Two Lovers

I guess I'm kind of late chiming in on James Gray's new film and -supposedly- Joaquin Phoenix's final film role but I couldn't help but comment at how touched and mesmerized I was by Two Lovers. First things first, I have yet to see a better performance this year than Phoenix's. He's hypnotic to look at as Leonard and makes you wonder if this role could have any connection to the insanely irrational behaviour he's been commiting of late. He pours his heart and soul to the film. If this is in fact his last movie role- he ends his acting career with a bang and quite possibly the best performance of his short career but I sadly think he might be remembered more for his off screen shenanigans than this incredible role he's giving us here.

Vinessa Shaw and Gwyneth Paltrow also offer solid portrayals as the women in Leonard's life. Shaw plays the perfect Jewish girlfriend whereas Paltrow plays the girl he can't get and a self described fuck up. They're both very sexual and free with their roles and that ultimately plays to the film's advantage, both gorgeous actresses and both unafraid to take risks. In one scene Paltrow stares at Leonard through her window across the street and flashes him her breast- it's a scene that describes the fury burning inside both of these characters and is -with good reason- visually interesting. And what can I say about Gray, if his past films were dragged down by a sense of 'deja vu', this one soars and gives you an idea of how talented the man really is. I was struck by how the film portrays the confusion of relationships. Love is messy, frustrating and -yes- ultimately obsessive. The message I got is very real and almost unflinching- true love is practically at an impossiblity and very far from our reaches.