Love Is Strange ★★★★

What I love about this film is how it digs deep into the most simple slice-of-life story, taking you delicately, lovingly and thoroughly into the characters' lives and experiences moment by moment. The camera studies each of the characters and wanders through their everyday experiences patiently waiting for some small, interesting detail to occur. And those revelations happen on numerous occasions throughout Love Is Strange. I can see where this conceit only works for the viewer if they're enthralled by the characters, which I thoroughly was.

Like last year's fantastic French import Blue Is the Warmest Color, Love Is Strange explores modern urban life through an LGBT filter. Some might see too much of a political agenda at work here, but like The Kids Are All Right, I just saw new facets of love and how dynamic people and life are, especially in our fast changing cultural times. We've come to easily accept young & beautiful gay culture, but writer/director Ira Sachs shows us an interesting slice of aging, senior citizen gay culture that isn't defined by sex, passion and equality, but instead is focused on commitment, companionship, and security.

The performances by the entire cast really shine, especially from Alfred Molina and John Lithgow, but also Marisa Tomei, Charlie Tahan and Darren Burrows. And of course New York gives another great performance as a character as well, revealing new and interesting aspectsof it's dynamic urban core through the stunning cinematography and production design. Probably the most surprising aspect of the filmmaking here is the incredibly perfect use of music. I found myself continually falling in love with the music at different moments throughout the film. It had just the right tone and added such amazing depth of emotion to the storytelling. The editing style was also of note, with extra long scenes without cuts that helped build the emotion and wait for the character to realize something internally instead of the usual immediate response we see in so many movies. We've become so accustomed to instant reactions in the writing and editing of feature films that this felt fresh and different.

Overall, Love Is Strange deserves it's extremely high 97% Rotten Tomatoes score and it is definitely one of favorite films of 2014 so far. I can't recommend it enough to every cinephile.

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