The Killing of Two Lovers
Robert Machoian’s terse, Utah-set drama explores the anguish of a couple whose relationship has disintegrated, but with only one of them wanting out.
David (Clayne Crawford) desperately tries to keep his family of six together during an agreed separation from his wife Niki (Sepideh Moafi). They both agree to see other people but David struggles to grapple with his wife’s new relationship. And if their three sons are fine with the situation, their daughter Jesse (Avery Pizzuto) blames them both for the turbulence that has upended her life. But as time passes, it becomes clear that David’s desire for reconciliation is the last thing on Nikki’s mind.
Played out in long takes, amidst a landscape that dwarfs its residents, The Killing of Two Lovers, like Xavier Legrande’s impressive Custody, skilfully maps out the complex terrain of a marriage in freefall, holding off judgement of characters’ actions until we are fully immersed in their lives.
★★★★ “This is a compelling portrait of a toxic marriage.” - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
★★★★ “Writer-director Robert Machoian has fashioned a wintry, clenched tale of domestic strife here, confining all but one sequence inside the 4:3 aspect ratio.” - Tim Robey, The Telegraph