by Marc Woodfork
‘The Lovers’ tells the story of a long married and dispassionate couple, who are both involved in affairs and on the brink of divorce. A unexpected spark re-ignites the feelings they had for one another, which forces them to re-examine the complexness of their infidelity. Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play the roles of the married couple. Debra Winger has never been better. This is by far her best role. If this film opened in November we would be talking about an Oscar Nomination. Ms. Winger brings honesty, wit, humor and feeling to the role. Tracy Letts is very good and he carries his scenes well. But Debra Winger is the star.
A film with this subject matter, it is easy to pass judgement on the characters and not like them, but that could not be farther from the truth. There’s enough charm and intelligent writing to make the characters likable. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship can relate to the fear of lost passion, boredom and how easy it is to get wrapped up in wanting to be desired again.
Marriage isn’t perfect. Relationships lose ‘steam’. Passion fades. ‘The Lovers’ addresses these elements in a heartfelt, fun and honest way. This film is certainly one of the best of this year. Hopefully the Academy will remember it when its time to choose Oscar nominations.