Director: James Gray
Leading Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Isabella Rossellini
NYC Neighborhoods Featured: Brighton Beach, Brooklyn

With all the attention Joaquin Phoenix will recieve when he wins the Oscar for Best Actor this year for The Master (assuming the Academy doesn't fuck things up, which it usually does), hopefully viewers will seek out James Gray's criminally overlooked Two Lovers. If that doesn't happen, lovers of NYC on screen should at least check in with the film for a look at Brighton Beach, a place that hasn't received its fair share of celluloid, given how fascinating the hood is. Gray's film follows Leonard Kreditor (Phoenix), of a Russian Jewish family living in the insular community. He's troubled, suicidal, but also charming and smooth, when he can get a grip. He falls in love with two different women, and, well, things don't go great. It's art house cinema—what did you expect? —RS