Everyone enjoys taking shortcuts. But that’s especially true for people who write about movies. As the very phrase “film criticism” implies, it’s much easier to write a review tearing a film apart than it is to write a review that explains why a film is good. Similarly, it’s easy to pan a film that doesn’t meet your initial expectations – and comparatively difficult to appraise a film that exposes you to a novel way of thinking.
Tag: Azazel Jacobs
** (out of 4)
The initial premise of Azawal Jacobs’ The Lovers is that the two protagonists, a married couple named Michael (Tracy Letts) and Mary (Debra Winger), dislike each other so much that they’ve each resorted to cheating on the other. If you were just going by the opening scenes, however, you’d be hard-pressed to believe that either of them really enjoys being adulterous. On Michael’s side, after all, the movie gives us an image of his girlfriend Lucy (Melora Walters) wailing inconsolably, all while he resignedly leans his head against a wall in the background. And on Mary’s side, we watch as she gives her boyfriend Robert (Aidan Gillen) an awkward, somewhat exasperated embrace outside her workplace. Add the fact that these scenes are filmed with meditative long takes, and you have all the makings of a reincarnation of Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura: a story where everyone wants love but never succeeds in getting it.
First impressions, however, can deceive, and the turn the story subsequently takes shows why.