Watch The Trailer
Storyline (warning: spoilers)
Two Of Us, simply titled Deux in France, follows Nina (Barbara Sukowa) and Madeline (Martine
Chevallier), two retired women who’ve been in a lesbian relationship for 20 years, but have
been posing as neighbours, as they try to navigate a health emergency that throws their
relationship — and their dreams of moving to Rome to live an openly gay life together — into
It sounds like a drama, but it’s filmed like a thriller bordering on a horror movie, peep holes and
dark rooms and frantic sneaking. That’s because Madeline has never come out to her adult
children. It’s not so much that she’s afraid they’ll be homophobic, but that they’ve anchored
their entire lives and identities on the lie that their parents were soul mates. In fact, they were
not. Madeline didn’t love her husband and was basically having a relationship with Nina
throughout their entire marriage.
Aside from the harrowing suspense, what sets director and co-writer Filippo Meneghetti’s film
apart is the passion and tempestuousness of Madeline and Nina’s interactions. The visual and
narrative tension, of course, ramps up the eroticism, but so does Madeline and Nina’s actual
relationship, which hasn’t aged in that calm, quiet, mature way we usually think of lesbian
grandmas. Nina, especially, has been simmering with rage her entire life because of Mado’s
inability to be honest with her family, and when she finds herself isolated from her lover and
despised by her children, the full force of her desperate anger makes itself known. Nina and
Mado fight and frolic like teenagers; something we hardly ever seen with later-in-life women
on-screen, and especially not with lesbians.
Meneghetti’s debut is always visceral and sometimes shocking. It’s familiar and it’s rare. It’s not
a movie I’ll probably watch again, but it’s also not one I’ll soon forget.