Two Lovers

Friday, August 2 - Sunday, August 4, 2019

35mm Print!

Staff Pick! Chosen by Daniel who says: “I’m very excited to see this on a big screen. James Gray’s films are achingly personal and beautiful—both in form and content—and this one is certainly no exception. It has laughs, romantic longing, and Joaquin Phoenix breakdancing in a nightclub. What more could you want from a movie?”

Set in the insular world of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, TWO LOVERS is a classic romantic drama, with Joaquin Phoenix giving a raw and vulnerable performance as Leonard, a charismatic but troubled young man who moves back into his childhood home following a recent heartbreak. While recovering under the watchful eye of his parents (Isabella Rossellini and Moni Monoshov), Leonard meets two women in quick succession: Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), a mysterious and beautiful neighbor who is exotic and out-of-place in Leonard’s staid world, and Sandra, the lovely and caring daughter of a businessman who is buying out his family’s dry-cleaning business. 


Leonard becomes deeply infatuated by Michelle, who seems poised to fall for him, but is having a self-destructive affair with a married man. At the same time, mounting pressure from his family pushes him towards committing to Sandra.  Leonard is forced to make an impossible decision – between the impetuousness of desire and the comfort of love – or risk falling back into the darkness that nearly killed him.

Screening as part of our Summer 2019 series, “Weekend Classics: Staff Picks.”

  • Country USA
  • Year 2008
  • Running Time 110 minutes
  • Distributor Magnolia
  • Director James Gray
  • Writer James Gray, Richard Menello
  • Editor John Axelrad
  • Cinematographer Joaquin Baca-Asay
  • Cast Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Moni Moshonov, Isabella Rossellini, John Ortiz

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.