Two Lovers

February 13th 2009
  • Drama/Romance,
  • R,
  • 100 min,
  • Magnolia Pictures
  • Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, Elias Koteas, Moni Moshonov, John Ortiz, Bob Ari, Julie Budd, Carmen M. Herlihy, Samantha Ivers, Jeanine Serralles, Jose Edwin Soto, Craig Walker, David Cale, Evan Lewis
  • Director: James Gray
  • Writers: James Gray, Richard Menello
  • Producers: Donna Gigliotti, James Gray, Anthony Katagas
  • Co Producers: Couper Samuelson, Mike Upton
  • Executive Producers: Marc Butan, Mark Cuban, Agnès Mentre, Todd Wagner
  • Art Directions: Marc Benacerraf, Peter Zumba
  • Casting: Douglas Aibel
  • Costume Design: Michael Clancy
  • D.O.P.: Joaquín Baca-Asay
  • Editor: John Axelrad
  • Makeup: LuAnn Claps
  • Production Design: Happy Massee
  • Set Decoration: Carol Silverman


Set in the insular world of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, "Two Lovers" is a classic romantic drama, with Joaquin Phoenix giving a raw and vulnerable performance as Leonard, a charismatic but troubled young man who moves back into his childhood home following a recent heartbreak. While recovering under the watchful eye of his parents (Isabella Rossellini and Moni Monoshov), Leonard meets two women in quick succession: Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), a mysterious and beautiful neighbor who is exotic and out-of-place in Leonard's staid world, and Sandra, the lovely and caring daughter of a businessman who is buying out his family's dry-cleaning business.

Leonard becomes deeply infatuated by Michelle, who seems poised to fall for him, but is having a self-destructive affair with a married man. At the same time, mounting pressure from his family pushes him towards committing to Sandra. Leonard is forced to make an impossible decision – between the impetuousness of desire and the comfort of love – or risk falling back into the darkness that nearly killed him.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: New Jersey, USA; New York City, USA
  • MPAA Warning: language, some sexuality and brief drug use
  • Production Budget: $12 million
  • Production Companies: 2929 Productions
  • Production Schedule: November 2007 - February 2008

Featured Articles


The apparent last film of actor Joaquin Phoenix before his unexpected retirement.

The film premiered in competition at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival in May.

The role of Michelle was written with Gwyneth Paltrow in mind.

The movie is set around Brighton Beach and features Gwyneth Paltrow whose mother Blythe Danner starred in the movie Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986).

Trailers & Clips

This film has no associated trailers or clips.

Worldwide Release Dates

  • 19 November 2008: France
  • 24 December 2008: Belgium
  • 12 March 2009: Greece, Netherlands
  • 27 March 2009: UK
  • 2 April 2009: Czech Republic
  • 17 April 2009: Norway
  • 30 April 2009: Argentina