Joaquin Phoenix in an intense love triangle
Two Lovers (2008), written and directed by James Gray, is a smart romance that looks at real and complicated love relationships. Joaquin Phoenix is Leonard, a guy a little down on his luck, recently dumped by his fiancée and living back home with Brighton Beach while he recovers from the breakup (and his own subsequent breakdown). He’s slightly smothered by his well-meaning parents, who think think he’d be a great match for Sandra (Vinessa Shaw), a local girl from the neighborhood. Enter Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), willowy, blonde, unpredictable and a bit unstable. Leonard is smitten. But he know that once he chooses Sandra or Michelle, he’ll lose the other. Robert Ebert calls Two Lovers “a film of unusual perception, played at perfect pitch by Phoenix, Shaw, Paltrow and the other actors.” PROVOKR members can stream the film here for free all week.