Image from: Love Is Strange (2014)

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Reviewed by Bluebirdandthorn GB / Joined Bluebirdandthorn 2015
Love Is Strange
Love Is Strange
Love Is Strange
USA, 2014, 98 minutes, SD Drama, LGBT, US Indie
Love is strange touches up on all of what is currently wrong with society in todays day and age. This is a very art cinema, coming of age and gay scene movie. The opening scenes begin with Ben and George finally committing to a civil partner ship after spending four decades besides one another. But their life soon gets turned up side down when George is fired immediately and indefinitely from his job at St Grace’s- a Catholic school where he as taught for over 12 years due to the Bishop not approving of his life choice. This hits Ben and George badly as they can not live in their beautiful New York apartment so they decide to sell their property, but are left in a tricky decision as the city is not one of the cheapest places to rent. They ask upon their friends and family for help whilst they look for a cheaper place. George ends up staying with Ted and Roberto who are cops in the city but Ben lans himself in Brooklyn with his Nephew, Elliot, his wife,Kate and their son Joey who is at the award teenager stage.

Through out the film Ben and George are put through a lot- having been together for 40 years and now living apart, would clearly put a strain on anyones relationship. Ben begins painting Vlad, Joey’s friend, on the roof top and Joey finds it “gay”. This is one of my favorite scenes from the movie as everything is every still and quiet and it makes me feel this is reflection moment for Ben whilst painting Vlad. Whilst we are on the topic theres a lot of inclination towards Joey’s gender as he spends a lot of time making sure his uncle, Ben knows he isn't gay. But the use of cinematic style and camera angles in certain scenes suggests otherwise- it would've been great if the film could of explored this some more.

Throughout the portrayal of Ben, when he is displayed with his partner George there is a lot of chaos and frustration- the shots feel tight and not enough room to be able to breath; but when Ben is on his own, he is portrayed as a calm and almost at the end of his time. Although Ben does die at the end, the use of the “pure and innocent” cinematic style makes the passing of him easier on the viewer to come to terms with.

The last stages of the film pass quite quickly and makes it confusing for the viewers to understand. As George is sat on his sofa whilst a house party is taking place and he ends up renting flat from someone he meets there. The film then shifts to the opera where Ben and George enjoy some quality time together. There is a strange sense of an ending coming and the final scenes of the couple are quite romantic but gives off a strong sense of this is the last time they’ll meet.

The ending is quiet sad, Ben has passed and its a week or two since his passing. Joey hands George a painting that Ben had been working on and hangs it on the wall. The film ends with skate borders and a shot of George looking at Ben’s painting.
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