114 user 193 critic

Two Lovers (2008)

2:05 | Trailer
A Brooklyn-set romantic drama about a bachelor torn between the family friend his parents wish he would marry and his beautiful but volatile new neighbor.


James Gray


James Gray, Ric Menello (as Richard Menello)
3 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Joaquin Phoenix ... Leonard Kraditor
Anne Joyce Anne Joyce ... Leonard's Ex-Fiancée
Elliot Villar ... Bystander
Craig Walker ... Bystander #2
Carmen M. Herlihy Carmen M. Herlihy ... Lady with Baby Carriage
Donald John Hewitt ... Another Bystander (as Don Hewitt Jr.)
Christian Albrizo Christian Albrizo ... Some Kid
Isabella Rossellini ... Ruth Kraditor
Moni Moshonov ... Reuben Kraditor
Julie Budd ... Carol Cohen
Bob Ari ... Michael Cohen
Iain J. Bopp Iain J. Bopp ... David Cohen
Vinessa Shaw ... Sandra Cohen
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Michelle Rausch
Samantha Ivers ... Stephanie


Leonard Kraditor is a burned-out case, living with his immigrant parents after his fiancée left him, helping out at their Brooklyn dry cleaners, taking photographs, at loose ends, suicidal. In quick succession, he meets two women: Sandra, the daughter of his parents' business associates, frank, direct, sensual, Jewish like Leonard; and, his neighbor Michelle, mercurial, rootless, fun, blond, unattainable. Michelle is in love with a married man and cries on Leonard's shoulder; Sandra wants to save him. Is Leonard willing to risk losing Sandra's fidelity for the moments Michelle's moods swing toward him? Can this end well? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes we leave everything to find ourselves.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This was to be Joaquin Phoenix's last movie before his retirement from acting, something which was later revealed to be a hoax. See more »


After Leonard drops his suitcase out the window it isn't there when he goes downstairs to meet up with Michelle. See more »


Michael Cohen: A kid's got to start thinking about his future sometime.
See more »


O Lola ch'ai di latti di cammisa
from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana
Written by Pietro Mascagni
Performed by Ricky Rasura
See more »

User Reviews

Downbeat intensity.
17 September 2009 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

For the first time in his short directing career, James Gray moves away from crime and asks a simple but highly pertinent question; should you chase the one you love or be with the one who loves you? There is no histrionics or emotional trickery on offer here, this is a smooth, intimate character study that burns with a downbeat intensity.

The movie follows troubled Leonard Kraditor {Joaquin Phoenix terrific and heartfelt}, who after a failed suicide attempt {his fiancée left him you see} finds his parents {Isabella Rosselini and Moni Moshonov} setting him up with Sandra Cohen {Vanessa Shaw} the cute daughter of potential business partners. Things look promising until Leonard encounters Michelle Rausch {Gwyneth Paltrow in a highly effective turn}, who is baggage central yet exciting and sexy. Gray then pulls the threads of this threesome together and lets things play themselves out without manipulating the audience.

Raising issues of infatuations, last chances and maybe even desperation's, Gray's picture is a very different love story-come-drama. Atmospherically it's tone perfect, a moody sense of sadness hangs heavy courtesy of Joaquín Baca-Asay's cinematography, particularly with the Brighton Beach segments. And Gray even manages to add a dash of suspense as we enter the crucial last quarter of the piece. You may not like the characters here, but that may well be the point? Perhaps ask yourself if Leonard is meant to be sympathetic anywaY? Regardless, and the film is sure to throw up a level of division, Two Lovers at least deserves to be given the chance to show you what it has to offer. So try it, maybe once, maybe twice, but do give it a go, because it's unlikely to leave your thoughts some time afterwards. 7/10

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | France



Release Date:

20 March 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Two Lovers See more »


Box Office


$9,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$94,986, 15 February 2009

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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