Love is Strange

First Hit:  Outstanding acting, powerful subject, and Love is expressed in this film.

Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) are aging gay men who’ve had an ongoing committed relationship for over 30 years.

They decide the time is right for them to be married. When they do the Catholic School where George works as a music teacher, fires him because it is against a behavior agreement he signed when he was hired although the church knew he was gay and was living with his partner. Ben and George have lots of friends and some family who admire and love them.

When they have to move from their apartment, they move in with separate families. George with two gay policemen, Ben with his nephew and family. These changes create intense scenes of how they have to accommodate and be accommodated by the people who take them in. The stories therein are heartfelt and poignant.

The direction of this film was outstanding in a number of ways:  The scenes were beautifully shot and full of character. Scenes were left to play out in their entirety; a song on a piano, long scenes of dialog or wistfulness, and a music recital.

Lithgow was supremely wonderful. His soft tenderness and dancing eyes brought incredible life and spirit to his character. Molina was simply exquisite. His interaction with both Lithgow and the other characters in the film was divine. Charlie Tahan as the son of the couple Ben stayed with was amazing. He embodied a young boy trying to make sense of the world and to find his place in the family while growing up. Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias wrote a beautiful script that was allowed breathe. Sachs was mostly spot-on in his direction of the script, scenes and characters.

Overall:  This film will stay with me for days in its tenderness and portrayal of a gay couples’ love and struggle to be able to live their love.