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Two Lovers (2008)

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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.

Director:

James Gray

Writers:

James Gray, Ric Menello (as Richard Menello)
3 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Sometimes we leave everything to find ourselves.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amantes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$117,591, 15 February 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,148,482, 28 June 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Michelle is lying in bed with Ronald sitting next to her and asking what happened, she asks him to leave and turns on her right side in a close-up shot. In the next room-wide shot, she has suddenly returned to her back, and after he has left the next close-up shows her on her side again. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

References Rear Window (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Vivo Sonhando
(1963)
Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim
Performed by Stan Getz
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Shiksa Factor
27 February 2009 | by Michael FargoSee all my reviews

As this film began, I thought, "What have I gotten myself into?" Joaquin Phoenix playing a character, Leonard, who attempts suicide before the lights in the theater are down? This is going to be a long ride and my shoulders slumped into the seat. But, instead, this funny, romantic intensely felt film slowly takes control of the audience and we shake our heads both in recognition of the folly of the characters as well as the exactitude with which the actors hit each and every mark. I wanted to applaud at the end for (1) the sustained tone, and (2)that it wasn't the film I feared at the opening.

Isabella Rosellini, as Leonard's mother, quickly lightens up the mood. (I should say, The Great Isabella Rosellini.) She has little to say but communicates volumes as a doting mother of a very troubled son. But she's also very funny in her hovering (literally peering under her son's door to see if he's okay).

What triggers the action is the introduction of a girl Sandra (played by Vinessa Shaw) chosen by Leonard's parents to divert him from the heartbreak that has made him suicidal. She's a perfect choice, and we all nod, "This won't work," because she's exactly what Leonard needs. He's so caught up in his suffering that he can't see anything beyond that…until supreme suffering simultaneously walks into his life: Her name is Michelle, and she's played by the exquisite Gwyneth Paltrow.

If you're a fan of Paltrow's, you know just how Leonard feels. He's ready to jump through any hoop just to be near Michelle, and wouldn't any of us? Paltrow gives such a winning performance of what none of us need and all of us want, that even by the end we want everything to revolve around her (as Michelle wants too).

This is not only a film about infatuation with various stages and maturity of love, it's also about a place, and that place is New York City. With wonderful and flakey choices on the soundtrack, New York is cupid's…hell. From the excitement of a group of people off on a lark to a dance club to one of the most unusual first dates in a high brow Manhattan restaurant (lushly scored with Henry Mancini's "Lujon") each and every locale is a Valentine to how much trouble you can get into in the big city. Watch out for those Michelles! Beautifully filmed, masterfully directed, being released so soon after the Oscar awards, the only sad thing is that it wasn't released just a few months earlier.


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