Well obviously we’re divided this weekend into those that do and those that don’t – go on a formal Valentine’s date. But whichever it is there’s no reason not to love these films:
Love is Strange – directed by Ira Sachs showing at the Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley on Saturday night at 9.30pm. Starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, John Cullum, Cheyenne Jackson, it is an intimate, wonderfully grown up tale of modern marriage and the balance people make between community and family. After nearly four decades together, Ben (John Lithgow; The Homesman) and George (Alfred Molina; An Education, Chocolat) finally decide to take advantage of the changes to the law and tie the knot in an idyllic wedding ceremony in lower Manhattan. However marriage is not all a bed of roses as unemployment and unpredictable family dynamics cause our couple untold challenges to their normalcy. Lithgow and Molina’s chemistry is terrific, their charisma, understanding and wholehearted acceptance of one another’s individuality is a joy to behold in this unconventional and refreshingly warm-hearted story of older-age love.
Blue Valentine on at 10pm Saturday at the ArtHouse Cinema, Crouch End.
A story of love found and love lost told in past and present moments in time. While Cindy (Michelle Williams) has blossomed into a woman with opportunities and options, Dean (Ryan Gosling) is still the same person he was when they met, and is unable to accept either Cindy’s growth or his lack of it. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage.
Also at the ArtHouse, but showing at 4pm – Casablanca, which needs no introduction but just in case… World War II, Morocco – a viper’s nest of corrupt French police, spies, fleeing émigrés, gamblers and drinkers. It’s the perfect place for weary American expatriate nightclub owner Rick Blaine to hide out. Rick’s Cafe is the gathering place for the good, the bad and the ugly, but he doesn’t care, as long as they spend their money. One day, of all the bars in all the world, Rick’s long-lost love, Ilsa walks in with her resistance leader husband, Victor, and Rick is pulled into both a love triangle and a web of political intrigue. Ilsa and Victor need to escape from Casablanca, and Rick may be the only one who can help them.
Casablanca is the greatest love story ever told and time may have gone by but it has not diminished it. Happy Valentine’s – whatever you’re doing. I’ll be in a cottage on the wild Irish coast with my husband – and a dozen or so other family members!