3 items from 2014
The Off animation block was full of great contenders of various animation styles. Snowdysseus played like a stop-motion, nightmare-fueled version of Gravity featuring an astronaut trapped in a land plagued with skeletons; the crowd-pleasing, mannequin-starring Baby Chicken sported a short adventure of a deadly breakfast; the French animated short The Little Blond Boy with a White Sheep favored the use of imagination and frolicking with farm animals to standardized tests; and even a computer-rendered children’s film narrated by George Takei, The Missing Scarf. Yet, of all the shorts presented, the atmospheric A Tangled Tale has managed to make the most lasting impression, mixing mediums of what looks like chalk and watercolor and allowing the music and sound design to tell the story, any visuals being abstract, yet powerful. Rough outlines of color against a black background reveal hints of a body of water, »
- Zach Lewis
Married Life: Sachs’ Latest a Subtle Portrayal of Love, Marriage, and Familial Bonds
Following on the heels of his 2012 film, Keep the Lights On, which documented a rather tumultuous and sometimes toxic relationship between two gay men over the course of a decade, director Ira Sachs delivers what is perhaps his most heartfelt and warmly observed film thus far. While many of the central relationships depicted in Sachs’ works are marked by melancholy and discord, whether that be the arresting loneliness of the superb Dina Korzun in Forty Shades of Blue (2005) or the dark comedy underpinning the extra-marital affair in Married Life (2007), here with Love is Strange, we are graced with a couple played by John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, partners of nearly forty years that have finally taken it upon themselves to exchange overdue marriage vows.
After thirty nine years of living together, Ben (John Lithgow) and George »
- Nicholas Bell
Truth springs from the title and trickles down into every pore of “Love Is Strange,” an uncompromising yet accessible slice-of-life expression from Ira Sachs, one of the most perceptive and personal directors working in American cinema. Here, the helmer branches out beyond his own lived experience to imagine a same-sex relationship 39 years strong as it is tested immediately following the couple’s long-overdue marriage. This beautifully observed ensembler shines on the strength of its two leads, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, who conjure four decades together as they enter the “for better, for worse” phase of their union.
Keenly aware that it is the “sexual” part of homosexuality that seems to offend the family-values crowd, Sachs has shrewdly focused on an example where hearts lead the way — so much so that the couple’s progressive New York family look to their old gay uncles as role models in romance. That »
- Peter Debruge
3 items from 2014
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