Two Lovers (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Two Lovers (2008)



Critic Consensus: Two Lovers is a complex, intriguing, richly-acted romantic drama

Movie Info

A depressed young man moves back in with his parents and finds his life turned upside down as he struggles to choose between the beautiful daughter of a close family friend and the scintillating but volatile next-door neighbor whose passion helps to reignite his lust for life. The third screen outing for writer/director James Gray and actor Joaquin Phoenix following We Own the Night and The Yards, Two Lovers co-stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Isabella Rossellini, and Vinessa Shaw. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: R (for language, some sexuality and brief drug use)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Richard Menello, James Gray, Ric Menello
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 30, 2009
Box Office: $3.0M
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site


Joaquin Phoenix
as Leonard Kraditor
Gwyneth Paltrow
as Michelle Rausch
Vinessa Shaw
as Sandra Cohen
Elias Koteas
as Ronald Blatt
Isabella Rossellini
as Ruth Kraditor
Moni Moshonov
as Reuben Kraditor
John Ortiz
as Jose Cordero
Julie Budd
as Carol Cohen
Bob Ari
as Michael Cohen
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Two Lovers

Critic Reviews for Two Lovers

All Critics (161) | Top Critics (47)

Phoenix plays that schism -- the damaged soul in a hunky body -- to perfection, so well that we overlook the logical chasm at the centre of the tale.

Full Review… | April 10, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Gray guides his strong cast to a resolution that is both surprising and entirely realistic.

Full Review… | April 10, 2009
Toronto Star
Top Critic

What made the filmmakers come up with such a 1959 scenario? Better yet, how did they make this hoary plot so damned entertaining? Must be movie magic.

Full Review… | August 16, 2011
East Bay Express

Please, don't be fooled by this. It's all showboating scenes, pretentious ideals and NO realism whatsoever.

Full Review… | March 13, 2011
What Culture

I can't stop thinking about Leonard, how I want him to be free, living an authentic life ... but also to to remain under supervision so he won't mess himself up. Phoenix is brilliant here.

Full Review… | May 7, 2010
Looking Closer

We know the characters better than they know themselves

Full Review… | April 13, 2010
Movie Habit

Audience Reviews for Two Lovers


A profoundly involving romantic drama crafted with a sophisticated direction and great performances from its entire cast - mainly Joaquin Phoenix, who is absolutely perfect and brings this melancholy tale of depression and impulsive passion to another level.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

A very schizophrenic movie. As in, I loved the parts with Gwyneth Paltrow, hated the parts with that other chick.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

examines what love is, or more precisely, what we THINK love is.

Two Lovers features Juaquin Phoenix as a damaged soul (now there's a stretch, based on what has happened to him since this film) who, while barely coping with life (he was dealt a raw deal concerning his former fiance)meets up with two diametrically opposed women; one, who his Jewish family is pushing on him, wants to protect and "cure" him, while the other, in a daring performance by Gwyneth Paltrow, is just as damaged and even more needy than Phoenix.

The story ark is familiar, and yet it works well here, due to Phoenix's odd and somehow detached performance; charming one moment and yet a ghost of a man who lives with his parents in others.

The scenes with Paltrow and Phoenix together, especially those that take place on the building's roof, shot as though you are an easdropper, with walls in the way as the charactors move about, are sizzling. The cinematography throughout is wonderful and moody, with nice lighting touches as when Phoenix and Paltrow converse from their rooms across an alleyway.

The ending scenes holds enough suspense that, even if you seriously suspect what's coming, the way in which it is presented will satisfy you.

Now some may find the resolution of the film disquieting (I know I did), but really, it fits the charactor, and is honest to the film and all that has come before, however distasteful you might find it. Again, what is love? Is it mutual need? Perhaps. This film certainly let's you ponder the conundrum.

paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Two Lovers Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Two Lovers on our Movie forum!