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“Two Lovers” debuts in Cannes

American director James Gray’s “Two Lovers” premiered in Cannes Monday evening.

Gray, and the film’s actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Vanessa Shaw walked the Red Carpet together. Actor Joaquin Phoenix also starred in the film, but was not present.

Premiering in Competition, Two Lovers by James Gray is the third film the American director has brought to Cannes, eight years after The Yards and one year after We Own the Night. Set in Brooklyn, it stars Joaquin Phoenix, a frequent presence in Gray's films, playing a man named Leonard Kraditor who has returned to live with his family after a traumatic romantic disappointment. There, he meets two women: Michelle, the new neighbor, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sandra, the daughter of his parents' friends, a role for Vinessa Shaw. Between these two ladies, Leonard's heart bounces to and fro…
The feature is quite a departure from the director's two previous crime thrillers. According to Gray, "the inspiration for Two Lovers came from a number of sources including Dostoevsky’s novella, “White Nights,” about a man who enters into a platonic friendship with a woman he meets on the streets and develops an obsession with her. I found the novella very moving. It’s the story of a person who is clearly suffering from a type of manic disorder. But what it’s really about is how he deals with love. It’s often very difficult to treat love with a kind of seriousness. It’s usually treated in a romantic comedy format because the state of being in love is, in itself, almost preposterous. Often we are really in love with a fantasy or an obsession.” From there, he began writing a script "about love, about something more personal to me."

Reviews for the film have been positive, especially for Joaquin Phoenix.

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