Two Lovers review

Two Lovers unfurls like a classical tragedy with the romantic elements of the romantic drama revolving almost exclusively around pain and suffering in the life of the unhinged, immensely confused lead character played by Joaquin Phoenix.

There is an essential backstory that provides depth and subtlety but it is thanks largely to the direction and the acting rather than the script that the struggles of the main characters are so compelling and convincing.

If current reports are to be believed, Phoenix has left this planet on a rocket ship destined for Planet Loopy. Just maybe his mental state helped in portraying a multi-layered, complex, even mildly psychotic individual, but the performance is intricate and impressive nonetheless.

The entire cast, in fact, is superb. Gwyneth Paltrow is at the top of her game, Vinessa Shaw brilliantly completes the love triangle as the stable, safe, contrasting alternative, and the supporting cast, which includes an as-ever captivating Isabella Rossellini, all just work. The casting director deserves a medal and if the producers had more campaigning power this could quite comfortably have contended an Oscar or two.

4 out of 5

2nd Apr 2009