Saturday 3 November 2012

"Keep the Lights On" (Guardian 02/11/12)

Keep the Lights On (18) 101 mins ****

With 2005’s Forty Shades of Blue and 2007’s Married Life, Ira Sachs announced himself as a director of thoughtful, character-driven moodpieces. His latest is an uncommonly sensitive and mature drama about the on-off romance that unfolds over a decade between Erik (Thure Lindhardt), a Danish filmmaker working in New York, and Paul (Zachary Booth), a volatile literary agent nursing a crack habit. The sex is great; it’s the emotions, registered in piercing, lingering close ups, that neither can really handle. The realisation the two head towards isn’t easy, but it’s faultlessly, heart-on-the-sleeve honest, and the leads, growing up and apart before our eyes, make poetry out of Sachs’s point: how memorable and formative even our unsuccessful encounters can be. Every frame pulses with hard-gained experience: it may be the most lived-in film of 2012, and certainly counts among the most moving. 

Keep the Lights On is in selected cinemas.

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