Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Vinessa Shaw turn in superlative perfs in the oddly old-fashioned-looking story of a browbeaten, emotionally conflicted man named Leonard (Phoenix) and his romantic entanglements in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, a place that director/co-writer James Gray (We Own the Night, Little Odessa) imbues with a worn, 60s-era feel. Paltrow outdoes herself as bad girl Michelle, and the dialogue twinkles in direct contrast to the plain brown outer-borough surroundings (some scenes were actually shot in Hoboken and Jersey City). Costarring Isabella Rossellini and Moni Moshonov (110 min.).
Director: James Gray
Writer: James Gray and Ric Menello
Producer: Donna Gigliotti
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, Elias Koteas, Moni Moshonov, Julie Budd, Nick Gillie, Carmen M. Herlihy and Samantha Ivers