Joaquin Phoenix’s Leonard Kraditor lives ensconced in his parents’ worried attention and doesn’t give the impression that his future beyond them is all that secure. When Vinessa Shaw’s Sandra enters, both intuit that they are being set up by their families, but there is a mutual attraction. However, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Michelle bewitches Leonard easily and manages to pull him away from his quiet world at the most inopportune times. Two Lovers is atmospheric, evocative and haunting, and portrays Leonard’s predicament as one that catches him between what he wants and what everyone know is best for him (including the audience). It’s a rare treat when a film shows love as a real emotional experience, not a romantic plot line. Two Lovers creates real suspense in Leonard’s two affairs; one reckless and irrational, the other safe and tender. Great script and performances (especially Paltrow) make Two Lovers the best thing in local cinemas.