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Movie Review: TWO OF US

This week for “Close-Up with Camenker”,  Zach reviews . . . TWO OF US! (February 26, 2021)

Click here for the blurb and viewing link of TWO OF US!

Full Review

When presenting the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1973, Swedish actress Liv Ullman quoted director Ingmar Bergman and shared an adage she learned from him: “Often to be most eloquent is to be silent.” Ironically, she and Roger Moore co-presented the award to Marlon Brando, who famously sent Native American actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather on his behalf to do anything but be silent in refusing to accept the honor.

Filippo Meneghetti’s French film TWO OF US lives up to that Bergman-inspired adage in that its quiet moments and use of silence allow it to shine in ways that one may not expect. As a lover of all things French, I had high expectations for this film, especially considering that it was one of the 15 international films named to the Oscar shortlist and one of the five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes. That said, I walked away with mixed emotions for a variety of reasons that are hard to identify.

The story of two women living across the hall from each other, TWO OF US is about the secret and long enduring love affair between Madeleine and Nina, played wonderfully by Martine Chevallier and Barbara Sukowa. While they both have high hopes to reveal their love and make the most of their retirement, a health crisis puts their plans at a halt and creates a complicating situation for their relationship.

Meneghetti, a debutant writer/director, displays this quiet and secretive yet passionate and committed relationship beautifully in large part due to his commanding use of the camera. The shots that he achieves in such confined spaces, since most of the film is shot in the apartment, are both memorable and intriguing. The focus remains on specific objects such as peepholes and windows, solidifying an assumed intent that the audience should feel as though we don’t belong in this delicate scenario. While these directorial choices tend to be the stuff of experts, Meneghetti’s own eloquence despite being a novice makes me think that we may have a lot to look forward to with his future projects.

While his directorial achievements are strong and the two lead actresses create stellar character arcs in their portrayal of Madeleine and Nina, the film is almost too eloquent and too silent, leaving a lot of questions unanswered and making me question if Bergman’s quote meant that he preferred one over the other. Perhaps a far-fetched connection on my part, but that’s certainly how I feel watching the piece.

All that aside, you cannot help but become incredibly invested in the storyline of these two women, watching them struggle to grasp the situation at hand as life shifts drastically right before their eyes. And while the questions increase as the film comes to a close, there is a comfort in how the ending is portrayed, as well as what they have managed to start to overcome together.

What strikes me most, perhaps, about this story is just how realistic it is. I can imagine many people, no matter their background, having had to hide pieces of their life due to family challenges, personal struggles, and life getting in the way. The refreshing part of this film is that it focuses the lens on an LGBTQ love story, something that still isn’t done enough even though its place at the table seems more and more visible in the last several years.

While I wouldn’t call this a great film, it is certainly good in many ways and still warrants your attention. Check it out in the Red River Virtual Cinema. And read on a bit for my film predictions for this Sunday’s Golden Globes, as well as what I will review next!

GOLDEN GLOBE FILM PREDICTIONS: While I have not seen everything, I have seen quite a lot and am eager to share my predicted winners in the 14 film categories. Many have called this the most “unpredictable awards season ever” and I tend to concur. To see the full list of Golden Globe nominees, visit  




BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA: Anthony Hopkins, The Father (many think Chadwick has it in the bag, but I’m not so sure given this is the sometimes unpredictable Hollywood Foreign Press!)

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE: Amanda Seyfried, Mank (another one you may be scratching your head at, but I feel they gotta give Mank the love somewhere!)

BEST SCREENPLAY FOR A MOTION PICTURE: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman



BEST SONG: “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Another Round (available at Red River!)

Stay tuned for Volume VII, which will reveal my thoughts on the highly controversial film MUSIC, this year’s surprise Golden Globe nominated musical/comedy that many critics feel came out of nowhere, as well as my predictions for Academy Award nominations.”

Click here to learn more about Zach Camenker!


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