Kim Nguyen's Two Lovers and a Bear an Arctic reverie (Trailer)
Kim Nguyen's Two Lovers and a Bear an Arctic reverie (Trailer)

Kim Nguyen’s Two Lovers and a Bear an Arctic reverie (Trailer)

Two Lovers and a Bear is a Canadian drama written and directed by Kim Nguyen (War Witch). The director premiered the film at the Cannes Film Festival this year before playing at TIFF. The film stars Dane DeHaan and Tatiana Maslany.

They’re troubled souls Lucy and Roman, lovers running from their lives in Canada’s frozen far North (Iqaluit, Nunavut, was the main filming location). It’s a story of amour fou, which Maslany and DeHaan portray with affecting realism — notwithstanding the presence of a bear that speaks with the voice of legendary Canuck actor Gordon Pinsent.

The bruin is at one with the woozy narrative, which writer/director Nguyen adapts from an original idea by Louis Grenier.

Lucy and Roman know how to survive in a land where the cold feels like fire, and they face threats both external and internal, ranging from accidents and animal attacks to alcohol abuse and suicide.

But they don’t know what to make of their romance, which may be sadly ending. Lucy plans to return south to resume her studies in biology; Roman vows to stay north to continue with the blue-collar jobs and Spartan existence he wants and needs.

Miserable about their impending split, and haunted by terrible memories, Lucy and Roman strike out together into the wild unknown, hoping that untamed nature will be kinder to them than so-called civilization has been.

“Life’s funny, don’t you think?” the bear observes, adding a charming touch of farce to this mostly dramatic movie, which takes on the contours of a survival thriller and a horror movie.

No computer can outmatch nature’s imposing snowy visuals, caught by cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc’s embracing lens and enhanced by Jesse Zubot’s electronic score.


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