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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.
Director: Robert Machoian
This brief but incendiary tale crawls inside a collapsing marriage and commands you to follow right behind. David (Clayne Crawford) and Nikki (Sepideh Moafi) are separated. They agree to see other people but David struggles to grapple with his wife’s new relationship, while their daughter Jesse (Avery Pizzuto) blames them both for ripping the family apart. That simple plot hides much, told in just 85 airless minutes with long takes, close-ups and a brilliant naturalism.
The barren landscape and static camera might make you think of Kelly Reichardt and perhaps Debra Granik - experts in pacing and framing a good outdoors story. Robert Machoian's film also has stellar sound design and a wildly great cast. The intensity and mastery of performance is remarkable, especially Moafi and her broken spouse. Crawford is unrecognisable here from his work in Rectify, a man in freefall within a film that soars.