What Defines Love
She Is Love
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 22m
Director(s): Jamie Adams
Writer(s): Jamie Adams
Cast: Haley Bennett, Sam Riley, Marisa Abela, Rosa Robson, Marika Hackman, Craig Russell
Where To Watch: In select theaters and digital February 3, 2023 (Chicago, LA, Dallas, Denver, and Detroit)
RAVING REVIEW: The reunion of former loves is the film's focus, SHE IS LOVE. This reflection on past love is brought to life by the talented cast and crew, led by the BIFA-nominated director Jamie Adams. A standout performance by the gifted Haley Bennett as Patricia elevates the film, effortlessly capturing the complexities and depth of her character.
Shot on location in stunning Cornwall, England, the cinematography adds to the film's visual appeal. Bennett shines in her role as Patricia, who unexpectedly encounters her former spouse Idris (played by Sam Riley), at a secluded country hotel. The tension and emotional intensity between Bennett and Riley, one of the film's high points, adding to their chemistry on-screen (and, more importantly, their visual level of awkwardness), makes the film feel incredibly genuine.
The film's musical aspect is another standout feature, with Idris, a musician, reinvigorated when he comes into contact with Patricia, a talent scout. This added dimension highlights Bennett's ability to hold her own in musical scenes, complementing Riley's performance and emphasizing their emotional connection. I would have liked to have seen more of Bennett’s singing in the film, and after her incredible performance in CYRANO, I was left wanting more.
In a movie that could have easily been chaotic and directionless, SHE IS LOVE is a truly memorable and impactful cinematic experience. Despite some criticisms of the film's improvisational style and lack of structure in the narrative, the cast and direction keep the film cohesive and engaging. The film's imperfections are forgotten in the face of Bennett's captivating performance, making it a must-see for fans of her work and lovers of romantic dramas.
The back and forth between Bennett and Riley makes this film an experience instead of just another movie. They are allowed to be honest, showing humans on the screen instead of people pretending to be humans. Their closeness amplifies their lack of connection. It is an authentic reminder of what genuine relationships can sometimes be like.
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[photo courtesy of BRAINSTORM MEDIA]