Keep the Lights On (18)
Ira Sachs's portrait of a faltering gay romance is absorbing and beautifully made, but in the end rather maddening. It centres on Erik (Thure Lindhardt), a Danish documentarist resident in New York, who meets high-flying lawyer Paul (Zachary Booth) via a phone-sex chatline.
Despite the latter having a girlfriend, the two men start a relationship which the film charts in episodes between 1998 and 2006. Sex isn't a problem, nor is money (we learn that Erik is subsidised by a wealthy family); what portends doom is Paul's consuming (and surprising) addiction to crack.
Sachs has much invested in this partly autobiographical tale, and the blond, gap-toothed Lindhardt is very touching as his needy alter ego. Paul, however, remains closed and elusive, as much of a cipher as the avant-garde artist who's the subject of Erik's long-in-the-making documentary.
In individual scenes Sachs works wonders – an early exchange between Erik and his prickly sister (Paprika Steen) is amusingly feline – and there's strong support from Julianne Nicholson as Erik's troubled best friend.
But the narrative, swirling around personal irresolution and flakiness, hasn't quite the impetus required in the absence of a plot.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote
Jay Z fights lawsuit over use of oh in 'Run This Town'
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Downton Abbey: Liam Neeson wants role as stableman in period drama
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis: Spoilers and existential questions revealed
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God