Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) take advantage of New York's new marriage laws and tie the knot after being together for 39 years. Unfortunately, the Catholic school where George teaches does not approve, and they reluctantly fire him, forcing the couple to split up and stay with friends while they sell their apartment and look for cheaper housing. George crashes with two gay police officers, while Ben, who's a painter, bunks with his nephew's family in Brooklyn—a temporary situation that weighs heavily on all involved. [Sony Pictures Classics] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 22, 2014
    You need to give Love Is Strange your eyes and ears and attention, let it work its effects on you gradually, like the lovely Chopin piano music that forms the spine of its soundtrack.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Aug 19, 2014
    Sachs and his performers know that the perfect marriage is a thing of phantom beauty — it doesn't exist, yet we persist in believing that someone out there must have it.
  3. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Jan 20, 2014
    Calling Love Is Strange a great gay love story is both precise and inaccurate; I doubt I’ll see a more finely performed and beautifully crafted love story, with or without any mere modifiers, up on the big screen this year.
  4. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Aug 20, 2014
    Setting several scenes to the famously poignant plinks of pianist Frédéric Chopin, Love Is Strange never achieves the sheer emotional resonance of "Make Way For Tomorrow"; it’s gently affecting, not deeply heartbreaking — in part because Sachs builds to a less devastating punctuation than McCarey did.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 21, 2014
    After a summer of robots, mutants and explosions, the beautifully honest, grownup Love is Strange is a treat.
  6. Reviewed by: Nathalie Atkinson
    Sep 18, 2014
    Throughout, Sachs is quietly observational – the film’s emotional power coming from its rich but unshowy performances.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 3, 2014
    Love is Strange doesn't really have any sort of sense of urgency about it. To the contrary, it feels rather mundane, as their problems -- while both unfortunate and unfair -- feel relatively small when put in perspective.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Aug 31, 2014
    Mike and I saw "Love is Strange" today at an early show in Evanston, and we think it's a great film that deserves all the great reviews it's been getting. It's a touching story of an aging gay couple who find themselves having to live with relatives and friends after the breadwinner loses his job as a music teacher at a Catholic school, because he made it public that he married his partner of forty years. Marisa Tomei's performance as the neice in law is a great performance. Alfred Molina and John Lithgow actually have screen chemistry because they are good friends in real life. The tenderness portrayed in this film is accented by the classical piano soundtrack. It's scares me that many people in the real world become desperate after losing their jobs, that this story comes off as almost true to life. Mike and I were touched by how gentle this couple is to each other. It's certainly a film about gay marriage that the American public should watch, if they only stop being so discriminatory to be more open minded. This is a great film, and I loved it like a great realistic novel where you get to know the characters, and care for them deeply. This is one great film!

    I just spent the last hour on reading raving reviews from all over the country about this movie. They all love the simple details of this romantic realist story about a couple going through difficult times, that many critics say this story is deeply human and universal, and shouldn't be seen as just a "gay marriage" movie. It's more than that. It's a deeply human story! It's soundtrack of classical piano make the simplest gestures of these characters heartwarming and heartbreaking, as when John Lithgow's character reaches out an grabs Alfred Molina's character(George) in a public place at a music concert. The music is so romantic, but the story is so real, and when these characters sweeten up to each other, we wish the best for them, and it breaks our hearts. Critics love this movie, and for a good cause. This is one expertly described film. The performance by the nephew becomes more and more moving as the film goes on. The path of love never did run smooth, as Shakespeare wrote in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and that's so true for this movie. Go see it if you can.

    Peace, Love, and Best Wishes, Ruben and Mike.
  2. Aug 22, 2014
    Likely the first must-see film of the year. Molina and Lithgow are simply outstanding in this love story that doesn't quite go the way you'd expect it to. I'm definitely interested to see where this director's career will go. Expand
  3. Sep 4, 2014
    Perhaps one of the most honest and true love stories ever brought to the screen. With Ira Sachs' direction, this film soars through life's challenges and are upheld with truly wonderful performances from its cast. Expand
  4. Sep 2, 2014
    Love is Strange is made in the style of a Woody Allen drama, but not as strong as Woody's best work. Lithgow and Molina are wonderful as the two geriatric gay men who have lived together nearly 40 years, only to have to separate temporarily when one of them loses their job. They each move in with a different family member, and each one has different problems with their new living arrangements. Some of the camera shots seemed exceedingly long to me, and some of the characters and storyline felt underdeveloped, but I still enjoyed the film overall. Not a film I would want to see again, as the various family members were very annoying. Expand
  5. Aug 23, 2014
    "Love is Strange" stars John Lithgow, Alfred Molina and Marisa Tomei in this story of a marriage of two men who have lived together for 39 years and, under the newly enacted New York law, are able to formally solidify their relationship in a more traditional manner. The problems the two encounter could befall any married couple so this is really not a gay movie but the story of a married couple who happen by chance to be gay. It is also the story of true love and the caring and affection that only beautful relationships can bring about. Unfortunately, this lovely and sensitive story, told in a better way, would have made a better film. One can only blame the writers, Ira Sachs (who is also the director) and Mauricio Zacharias and/or the editor for preventing this movie from realizing its potential. The continuity and ease of understanding are significantly absent from the film so that the viewer must assume and imagine that which could easily have been shown in an added scene or two. This is even more disturbing when you have such fine performances given by Messrs. Molina and Lithgow and Ms. Tomei all of whom are exemplary in the roles they play. I give the film a 7 simply because too many questions are posed for the viewer to try to answer and too many inconsistencies exist for the viewer to follow. Had these writing/editing problems been solved, the film would indeed be worthy of a much higher rating. Expand
  6. Sep 21, 2014
    A very good movie that could have been excellent. It is a love story of two gay partners of nearly 40 years living in New York. After they get married, one of them who works as a music teacher in a Catholic church, gets fired once his marriage becomes public. They are forced to move out and, while looking for new living arrangements, they live separately with their relatives. The movie is sincere and sensitive, acting is top-notch. The script could have been better. While most of the movie look authentic and true, some episodes are not realistic. Nevertheless we might see this film in the Oscar list, at least in a few categories. Expand
  7. Oct 6, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My husband and I were SO looking forward to seeing this film and just as disappointed. Were Lithgow and Molina in great form? Yes. Does this make it a terrific movie? No. I'm not an idiot; I appreciate movies that feel "real," as if the viewer had dropped in to people's lives at some important moment. But, these particular people? Who cares. Afterwards, my husband and I went to dinner and got hysterical, trying to make sense of what we had just seen. Spoiler alert: Why would Alfred Molina's character NOT know the details of his co-op mortgage and why would his real estate agent allow him to make such miscalculations in the sale? Why don't these men have any friends of their own age? Why would two people who just got married, split up, albeit temporarily, for ANY reason. They could have become pet sitters for affluent out-of-town New Yorkers, for God's sake. Why does an only child with no friends sleep in a bunk bed? Why would two boys steal books in French when they could have taken them out of the Public Library? And, WHY OH WHY would someone, whose life-partner has a heart condition AND one arm in a sling, stand and watch their beloved walk down steep subway stairs and go, by himself, back home, after having a drink? Puhleeze. AND, any New Yorker knows that a rent-controlled apartment cannot be handed over to anyone new, unless they are a family member who has lived in the apartment for years and received mail there. Building management companies watch those rent-controlled apartments like hawks, waiting for the residents to die so they can bring the apartment up to current value. What the heck? Do none of those details matter when writing a script? And, as we sat there, my husband and I came up with a number of gay actors who could have played these parts. Are critics too scared to negatively review a film about such a "precious" topic? And, frankly, having known and loved many gay male friends, where were their outrageous senses of humor? It would have kept this slow-moving film from being, ultimately, a complete downer. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews


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