Love After Love ★★★½

A surprising independent film that almost feels at times like an American riff on a Pialat family drama. Time and again it turns caustic when it might be expected to skew toward sentiment. Its jagged editorial rhythms and behavioral outbursts require constant reorienting from viewers, placing them in roughly the same transitional space as the mourning cast of characters. Many scenes veer close to greatness, and there’s a sturdy construction underpinning the entire thing (scenes, scenarios, and images form unexpected, empathetic parallels), even if the film taken as a whole might be a bit too on the nose thematically (and that’s not only referring to the stand-up act near the end, which might be the most ill-conceived mission statement in a film since the Oldham wankery in A Ghost Story).