17 items from 2017
“They hate each other. Watch them carefully, and if you see me acting like either of them, punch me in the face.” These are the words of young student Joel (Tyler Ross), speaking to his girlfriend Erin (Jessica Sula) about his parents Michael (Tracy Letts) and his wife Mary (Debra Winger), as they board a train to visit home for a few days. That one statement perfectly sums up the relationship of the married couple, and provides the basis for this film, a very witty, often funny insight into the later days of a lifelong relationship – a romantic comedy flipped on its head with fantastic lead performances and very clever screenplay.
Read More: The Leisure Seeker review [Tiff 2017]
We meet the troubled duo, each with a different partner, »
- Paul Heath
Written and directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Azazel Jacobs, and starring three-time Academy Award® nominee Debra Winger (Best Actress, An Officer and a Gentleman, 1982), The Lovers arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital HD) and DVD August 1 from Lionsgate. Theatrically released by A24, The Lovers is a refreshing, funny look at love, fidelity, and family. The critically acclaimed film features a standout ensemble cast, including Tony Award® winner Tracy Letts (The Big Short, Indignation), Aidan Gillen (Sing Street, “Game of Thrones”), Melora Walters (The Butterfly Effect), Tyler Ross (Zombieland), and Jessica Sula (Split), and is Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh.
Now you can own The Lovers on Blu-ray. We Are Movie Geeks has Four copies to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment answering this question: What is your favorite movie starring Debra Winger? (mine is Urban Cowboy!). It’s so easy!
1. You Must Be A Us Resident. »
- Tom Stockman
The Lovers is a slyly funny comedy in which Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a long-married couple who are both secretly cheating with a lover. But they find their secret love affairs are unexpectedly complicated by a new sexual attraction – to each other.
Debra Winger and Tracy Letts deliver delightful performances as the long-married, philandering couple. Mary and Michael are on the far side of middle-age and the marriage has been dull routine for sometime. Their current lovers are younger, but not by that much. Mary is wooed by romantic Irish writer Robert (Aidan Gillen, Game Of Thrones’ Littlefinger) with a sweet tenderness but he wants her to commit to him. Michael has his hands full with Lucy (Melora Walters), a fiery dance teacher, who also is tired of waiting »
- Cate Marquis
Chicago – There is a familiar Stephen Sondheim song called “Send in the Clowns,” which speaks of the absurdity of relationships, and their ups and downs. Writer/director Azazel Jacobs has kind of made a movie version of that song’s meaning, with the trials of a married couple, cheating on each other, in “The Lovers.”
Michael (Tracy Letts) and Mary (Debra Winger) are in a marriage rut that seems impossible to heal. They both have taken lovers, Michael with Lucy (Melora Walters) and Mary with Robert (Aidan Gillen). However, their lovers are getting impatient, each want the other to end the marriage. Michael and Mary make a promise to themselves and their other mates that they will end the charade after their son (Tyler Ross) comes to visit. But strangely, that secret lights a spark between them again. Send in the clowns, don’t bother they’re here.
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The One You’re With: Jacobs Brings Mature Gaze to Dark Marital Comedy
Imagine if George and Martha actually had allowed themselves the opportunity to derive pleasure from extra-marital liaisons as an avenue to re-discover the attraction they once had for one another and you get a sense of the rueful tone in Azazel Jacob’s The Lovers. Although hardly as caustic as the broken beings locking horns in Edward Albee’s classic play, Jacobs scores his most mature and sobering portrayal to date.
Compared to the focal points of earlier works like Momma’s Man (2008) and Terri (2011), featuring male protagonists in the throes of arrested development or navigating adolescence as pariah, the unhappily married couple played delectably by Debra Winger and Tracy Letts may be a familiar concept, yet plays like uncharted territory as far as American indie cinema goes. Neither the butt of a joke nor fodder for a frivolous sex farce, theirs is an emotionally sound portrayal of a complex, adult relationship, and makes absolute mincemeat out of the lethargic shenanigans of the comparably staged It’s Complicated (2009).
Michael (Letts) and Mary (Winger) have been going through the motions of a stale marriage for years. Both deeply embroiled in affairs with other people, they seem to be waiting for merely the right moment to announce the obvious to one another and begin a new chapter of their lives. When their son Joel (Tyler Ross) announces an upcoming visit home during a break from university to introduce them to his new girlfriend (Jessica Sula), Michael and Mary each hatch their own plots to use the event as a springboard for their big news. Robert (Aidan Gillen), an aspiring novelist, and Lucy (Melora Walters), an emotionally fragile ballet teacher, are both chomping at the bit for their respective lovers to end their empty husk of a marriage. As the date for Joel’s visit looms night, the anxiety induced by Robert and Lucy force Michael and Mary to seek solace elsewhere…which leads them back into the comfort of each other’s arms. Reawakening a sensuality they haven’t felt for one another in years, Michael and Mary are soon hiding their rekindled feelings from their respective lovers.
Surely, the adulterous situation Jacobs is exploring is nothing new, as we’ve seen all approximations and combinations of this synopsis (including scenarios where two lovers discover their significant others are lovers as well, as in Kirill Serebrennikov’s Betrayal, 2012). But there’s a level of nuance in his The Lovers often absent from these deliberations of heteronormative marriages made sour by the crushing combo of time and domesticity. What’s more, Michael and Mary are presented on an equal playing field, both at fault in the current state of affairs and yet also both wholly capable of exploring alternate avenues of fulfillment. Their reconnection is imperceptibly nestled in a tipping point involving Chinese take-out, and it’s this, among many other details, which nails the irrationality involved in conceptions of lust and love. Both made aware of the other’s infidelity, Jacobs steers this initial droll comedy into formidable poignancy.
Out shopping for groceries for their son’s visit, a jocular trip gets marred suddenly, allowing for Letts to walk away with one of the best scenes standing befuddled at the meat counter. With realistic tendencies and avoiding the usual heartrending, exaggerated beats which are used to enhance what, at its core, is a social melodrama, The Lovers finds notes of the sublime in the dueling performances of Winger and Letts.
The post The Lovers | Review appeared first on Ioncinema.com. »
- Nicholas Bell
Allow me to tell you a story about Debra Winger and the ever lasting effect she had on a 9 year old boy. That is how old I was when I rented An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) from my local video store. I was so enthralled that I hid the tape - since I wasn’t allowed to watch R rated flicks - and watched again and again, refusing to return it as the late fees piled on. I didn’t even fully speak or understand English at the time, but I got everything that Winger was conveying. As an impressionable young gay you’d think I’d be more interested in Richard Gere. And sure I found him attractive, but it was Winger I identified with. Something about the mix of pride and anguish she had as Paula, the small town factory girl trying to break free to a better life, »
- Murtada Elfadl
4 May 2017 1:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Affection and attraction play by their own confounding rules in The Lovers, Azazel Jacobs' mordant comedy about a married couple who can't remain faithful even to their infidelities. Smart, unpredictable performances by Debra Winger and Tracy Letts and an uncommonly crucial score by Mandy Hoffman ensure that the picture's odd nature won't be misconstrued as indecisiveness; though commercial appeal is limited, older moviegoers should respond particularly well at art houses.
Letts and Winger are Michael and Mary, who appear to have been married for many, many more years than either would have liked. Each has a longtime lover (Melora Walters' »
- John DeFore
Mary (Debra Winger) and Michael (Tracy Letts) are married. She has something going on the sly with an Irish novelist (Aidan Gillen); he's been sneaking around with a high-strung ballet teacher (Melora Walters). Both are counting the days until they can dissolve the union and move in with their new partners. Then, on the brink of separation, Mary and Michael decide they still turn each other on – and start cheating on their side dishes with each other.
That, in a tweet and a half, is the plot of The Lovers, »
For AhkeemEstablished in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival has had a bit of trouble defining itself during the course of its 15-year run. It lacks the grit and quirk of SXSW or the finesse of Sundance, but like the latter, it serves a springboard with its own lab for first time directors. Tribeca's ambitious programming has evolved to encompass much more than movies. A Virtual Reality sidebar is innovative and conveniently forward-looking, the television slate, chock full of hotly anticipated premieres, is opportunely adaptive, and the Talks section is fascinating in its pairings, both expected (Noah Baumbach and Dustin Hoffman, whose work together will be showcased at Cannes) and funkily improbable (Barbra Streisand and Robert Rodriguez). There's even a curation of interactive media in the Games section.While the festival is often unfairly maligned, there are many decent offerings, including spillover from the international film festival circuit and a premieres of some more well-known titles, »
Azazel Jacobs’ The Lovers is set in the sort of unremarkable, average, suburban America that is rarely depicted in American movies in anything but a negative light, usually as a place where dreams go to die. So one of the unexpected virtues of this small, thoughtful film is how it resists treating these surroundings as soul-crushing or as a symbol of the failure of middle-class mores, all while telling a story about disaffection and the yearning to escape—a ballet of ordinariness that uses a nostalgic, waltzing score (by longtime Jacobs collaborator Mandy Hoffman) to reveal the internal melodrama of middling lives and longings. Its central characters, Mary (Debra Winger) and Michael (Tracy Letts), are fiftysomethings whose dull marriage reached a dead end long ago. Both are carrying on affairs—she with writer Robert (Aiden Gillen), he with dance teacher Lucy (Melora Walters). And just as they are about to »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
When a film is labeled as being a marriage drama, it is usually without question that it will contain some aspect of infidelity, and while The Lovers indeed begins with this premise, it presents the rather rare situation of “re-fidelity.” Featuring superb performances from Tracy Letts and Debra Winger, writer-director Azazel Jacobs has assembled an impeccable ensemble, but his script doesn’t quite have the dramatic acumen to make his Terri follow-up much more than an amusing farce.
For many years, the relationship between Mary (Winger) and Michael (Letts) has been going through the motions, to put it kindly. Their dormant union is one where even a moment of eye contact is rare, best exemplified when Michael is in the bathroom, pretending to be brushing his teeth, but he’s actually on the phone, as his wife is doing the same in the bedroom. An evening when they are both »
- Jordan Raup
It’s been painful in recent years to see Todd Solondz, the once-inspired director of “Welcome to the Dollhouse” and “Happiness,” making his characters so lowly and pathetic they no longer seem real. If Solondz had kept his empathy for life’s everyday losers but put aside his compulsion to punish them for it, he might have made a comedy of barbed humanity like Azazel Jacobs’ “The Lovers.”
It stars Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as Mary and Michael, a couple in their late 50s who have entered the dead-zone phase of marriage. Their passion has left the building, but more than that, they’ve stopped pretending they have anything to say to each other. Their relationship is a glumly polite series of going-through-the-motions rituals (even when they sit in front of the TV having a glass of red wine, they’re drinking alone…together), yet the movie observes their »
- Owen Gleiberman
The concept of “The Lovers” is almost too cute: Middle-aged married couple Michael (Tracy Letts) and Mary (Debra Winger) lost interest in each other long ago, and have both launched extramarital affairs, promising their paramours that a divorce is on the horizon. In the midst of planning breakups, however, Michael and Marry suddenly rediscover the passion of their marriage, delay their secret plans to split, and the cheating dynamic twists around. The very notion of faithfulness is turned on its ear.
It’s enough to fuel a lightly satisfying studio romcom, and it already has — Nancy Meyers’ “It’s Complicated” — but “The Lovers” writer-director Azazel Jacobs has a more delicate approach. The movie deals less with awkwardness of this comedic scenario than the emotions it creates for its central duo, and the psychological struggle when words can only go so far.
If it was made 70 years ago, “The Lovers” would »
- Eric Kohn
The production company is Lexicon Entertainment, in association with Room in the Sky Films. Production began Wednesday in Los Angeles with shooting planned for several weeks.
Producers on the project are Mark Mathias Sayre, Troy Daniel Smith, Walters and Jonathan Piumelli. Executive producers are Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Swadling, and Larry Nealy with Justin Foia co-producing.
Walters is directing from her original screenplay, in which Le Gros portrays a famous novelist seeking to write a more serious book, only to find himself tumbling down a spiral of obsession that may leave his most important relationships in shambles, including his marriage.
Walters and Sayre »
- Dave McNary
Since 2001, actress Debra Winger has appeared sporadically in films and TV shows. She starred in and produced “Big Bad Love” opposite her husband Arliss Howard, co-starred in Jonathan Demme’s 2008 film “Rachel Getting Married” and the third season of HBO’s “In Treatment” and currently stars in the Netflix series “The Ranch.” But this year, she will star in her first film in over a decade opposite acclaimed playwright and actor Tracy Letts in “The Lovers.”
Read More: Review: ‘The Ranch’ Season 1 Makes You Wish It Was a Prank (Except for Sam Elliott)
“The Lovers” follows Mary (Winger) and Michael (Letts) as a down-and-out married couple. Both are having affairs (played by Aidan Gillen and Melora Walters, respectively) and are set to end their union, until they unexpectedly rekindle the passion between them and fall in love once again. Watch a trailer for the film below.
The film is directed by Azazel Jacobs. »
- Vikram Murthi
After a banner year that included The Witch, Krisha, Green Room, The Lobster, De Palma, Swiss Army Man, Morris from America, American Honey, Moonlight, and 20th Century Women, A24 are gearing up for quite a 2017 as well. One of their first releases of the year will be The Lovers, and today the first trailer has arrived.
Starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts, the dramedy comes from writer-director Azazel Jacobs, who impressed a few years back with Terri. Exploring infidelity and reconciliation in a marriage, it looks to be akin to Scenes From a Marriage, American-style, and I especially look forward to Letts’ performance, who was terrific in a handful of films last year.
- Jordan Raup
The setup for The Lovers is almost farcical: Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a wife and husband who are both in serious relationships outside their marriage. But then they end up cuddling in bed one morning and become preoccupied with each other, leaving their respective paramours in the lurch. Thus, the question of who is actually doing the betraying gets seriously twisted. The jilted parties are played by Aidan Gillen and Melora Walters, while the film is directed by Azazel Jacobs of the HBO series Doll & Em. This is the first feature for Winger, who has been biding her time on Netflix’s The Ranch, in a couple of years, and that alone is reason to celebrate. The Lovers is due out May 5.
- Esther Zuckerman
17 items from 2017
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