Two of Us is director and writer Filippo Meneghetti‘s debut feature film. Winner of Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language, and Cesar for Best First Film, it more than deserves the accolades.
Nina and Madeleine (Mado) are women in their 60s who have been neighbours in the same apartment building for several years. Mado has two grown children and a grand-son. Unbeknownst to Mado’s children, she and Nina have actually been lovers for 20 years. Now that Mado’s abusive husband is finally dead, the two have plans to reveal their relationship, sell their apartments, and move to Rome. That is, until Mado suffers a devastating stroke, and everything changes.
Starring as Mado is veteran French actor Martine Chevalier. Her post-stroke performance is subtle and authentic. Nina is played by German actor Barbara Sukowa, who brings strength and passion to the role. Meneghetti’s screenplay, co-written by Malysone Bovorasmy is perfectly formed, full of controlled turns and dips. It is emotional without being emotive, sensual, suspenseful , and ultimately holds true to the love-story genre.
Aurélien Marra has put in superb work on cinematography. As most of the action takes place within the apartments of the two women, (which were created in studio), he has recreated the often reflected light an apartment receives. It is hard to believe that these shots weren’t done on location.
Two of Us is heart-breaking, uplifting, sad, romantic, sexy and intelligent. And how refreshing, and frustratingly overdue, to see a film starring two older women. It is an outstanding feature debut that deserves a wide audience.
Two of Us opens May 20th