Letterboxd (3.5/5), Imdb.com (7/10), TMDB.com (3.5/5)
Intimacy can be a beautiful thing. However, it can also become something messy, hurtful and emotionally devastating when tainted by self-serving agendas, irresponsible intentions, or reckless, short-sighted experimentation, influences that can purposely or unwittingly end up wreaking widespread havoc. Such is the case in writer-director Ira Sachs’s new domestic drama about a flamboyant, free-spirited gay male filmmaker, Tomas (Franz Rogowski), who impulsively jumps into an impromptu fling with a woman, Agathe (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a relationship that leaves his longtime husband, Martin (Ben Whishaw), unsure of what the couple’s future might hold. As time passes, circumstances grow increasingly complicated as each member of this unlikely trio tries to sort out what lies ahead, particularly with the emergence of Tomas’s ever-growing thoughtless capriciousness. Some viewers may look upon the story’s shockingly reprehensible developments as improbable and appalling, but, sadly, as anyone who has ever watched tabloid TV can probably attest, the events depicted here might not appear as far-fetched as one might think. In that respect, this offering presents a bold, courageous, honest look at what can go awry in situations like this, an account loaded with incensed outrage, unbridled ire, biting humor and more than a little cynicism. It’s a narrative that some audience members may find offensive, even deplorable, but, like a horrific car accident, it’s also something that many viewers might find difficult to look away from, thanks in large part to the wholly convincing performances of the three protagonists. Sensitive viewers should be aware that the film includes a fair amount of explicit and provocative sexual content, so those easily offended by such material may not want to put this one on their watch lists. However, for those who appreciate domestic dramas that hold nothing back and that aren’t afraid to get down and dirty in their portrayals of what can happen, this release is about as good as any out there. Just be prepared to be left with your jaw agape – and your head spinning.