Two Of Us
Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier, Léa Drucker, Jerome Varanfrain, Muriel Bénazéraf
Writer-director Filippo Meneghetti’s impressive feature debut juggles romantic drama, social commentary and thriller elements to involving effect.
Nina (Sukowa) and Madeline (Chevallier) are retired women who live across the hall from each other in an apartment building in a small town in France. Unbeknown to everyone, they have also been conducting a passionate romance for decades.
Native Berliner Nina (Sukowa) is the more free-spirited and would be happy to have their relationship out in the open, but Madeline is more weary, even hiding their long-time relationship from divorced daughter Anne (Drucker) and grandson Frederic (Varanafrain) who believe she is still missing her late husband.
Nina has persuaded Madeline to put her apartment up for sale so they can move to Italy and live their lives as a real couple. But their plans are tragically interrupted by an unforeseen event resulting in Madeline’s family employing a fulltime caregiver Muriel (Bénazéraf) whose slow-witted façade belies a hawk-like watchfulness. So Nina has to either break in or concoct reasons to keep visiting her lover.
Fassbinder regular Sukowa is excellent as Nina, affecting, but unnerving too with her chilly exterior and increasingly obsessive behaviour. Meneghetti maintains a brisk pace and even mines moments of dark comedy in the scenes where caregiver Muriel begins to realise that something is up with Madeline’s nosy neighbour.
Two of Us is released on 16th July
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