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When two college students, Sam and Thea, meet Coles at a party, their mutual attraction is immediate, leading to a passionate and awkward night together, and the onset of an intensely charged bond. As they continue to push the sexual boundaries of their friendship, however, they are tested by Sam and Coles' incipient romance and Thea's increasing recklessness, until the relationship dissolves amid a cloud of fear, resentment and mistrust. Eight years later they reunite. An animator for a high-profile ad agency, Coles now lives with Claire, his girlfriend of five years. Thea is happily married to Miles, with whom she owns a flourishing restaurant. And Sam has just returned to Manhattan after working in London where she recently broke off her engagement. Yet upon reconnecting, the three are drawn back into the complicated dynamic that defined their relationship from the start and are forced to confront the true meaning of commitment and love. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Love Lies Bleeding
Written by Rupert Keiller and Adrian Cartwright
Performed by Sonicanimation
Licensed courtesy Global Recordings Pty Ltd.
Published by Festival Music Publishing, Australia ASCAP See more »
Austin Chick has done wonders with "XX/XY". It's almost as though he is working in solving a mathematical equation. In the process, he makes us follow the three principals, Coles, Maya and Thea throughout almost ten years to see what become of the characters. Mr. Chick is a film maker in tune with young people, their language, their interplay, and their sexual discoveries.
In securing the services of Mark Ruffalo for the pivotal role of Coles, the director is blessed as well with wonderful performances all around. Mr. Ruffalo has become one of the best actors working in the American cinema. He always bring such an intensity to everything he does, but in a subtle and quiet way. We always know what's going on with this man because he expresses everything with gestures that are always right. There's never a moment wrong in Mr. Ruffalo's portrayal of Coles.
The story begins in 1993 as the original friends, Coles, Thea and Maya explore their sexual awakenings in unorthodox ways. Coles is the man who lusts after both room mates, but it's obvious that Maya is the one that gets the best of him until their separation.
As the story turns to the present time. We see Coles in a relationship with Claire, the 'together' young woman who seems secure enough with Coles never to pressure him into a marriage, because she feels he is committed to staying with her. Their life together suddenly takes a spin with the reemergence of Maya, who has been away in London all these years. Her presence unravels Coles to the point of betrayal to Claire. It is Claire who gets the last laugh as she confronts Coles to tell him how ahead of the game she really is.
The last scene is enigmatic. We watch Coles and Claire standing by the door. Coles is trying to hold it open, but Claire succeeds in closing it, and as a chapter in their relationship has ended.
The two principals, Maya Strange, as Sam, and Kathleen Robertson, as Thea, are excellent as the college girls that love to have fun. However, one has a feeling that it's Petra Wright, who plays Claire, that gives the strongest performance. Ms. Wright has a luminous aura about her; she overshadows the others. One realizes that Coles needs her and she loves him.
Bravo to Austin Chick for a job well done.
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