FILM REVIEW | THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS

Directed by Robert Machoian and starring Clayne Crawford (A Walk to Remember) and Sepideh Moafi, The Killing of Two Lovers tells the story of a father of six who is desperately trying to keep his family together during a separation with his wife. Brutal and emotional from start to finish, the movie gives an honest portrayal of the effects separation has on the entire family.





Written by Becca Johnson

Directed by Robert Machoian and starring Clayne Crawford (A Walk to Remember) and Sepideh Moafi, The Killing of Two Lovers tells the story of a father of six who is desperately trying to keep his family together during a separation with his wife. Brutal and emotional from start to finish, the movie gives an honest portrayal of the effects separation has on the entire family.


From the get-go, The Killing of Two Lovers looks gorgeous. The snow-covered Utah landscape paired with the 1.37:1 aspect ratio works a treat. The score matches the tone perfectly, its ear-piercing and unnerving feel often resembling that of a thriller, helping to build tension. The movie looks and sounds cold, lonely and desolate, creating an immersive experience for its audience.


The performances are a huge reason why this movie works so well. For the majority of the runtime, its easy to forget you're watching actors on-screen. Every interaction feels realistic and truthful, and will likely be relatable for those who have experienced a separation in any way. Crawford plays David flawlessly, a Dad who misses his family dearly and wants to make things work despite his wife's lack of effort and new interfering boyfriend. Moafi plays wife Niki with ease, a lady who is clearly unsure which path to take and what will make her and her children the happiest. Avery Pizzuto is also great as Jesse, the oldest daughter who struggles to come to terms with the separation as she also deals with teenage girl problems.

The Killing of Two Lovers goes for the simplistic approach, but it works. As the run-time progresses, you learn more about both the characters and their dynamic, helping the audience to create an emotional attachment to them. By the end, it's hard to not want the best for every character involved, and you truly want David and Niki to make things work. It does a lot in a short amount of time, coming in at a particularly short 84 minutes. This run-time is ample for the subject matter, and it still manages to include a climactic ending with the perfect amount of pay-off.


The Killing of Two Lovers will not work for those who don't appreciate a slower watch. However, the right audience will fall in love with this elegant yet powerful gem. There is a tremendous amount of talent both in front of and behind the camera, and the movie easily proves that director Machoian is one to keep an eye on. The performances are divine, the subject matter is sometimes heartbreaking yet always captivating, and the use of long takes and negative space elevate this movie to an extremely high level. This could be one of the strongest 2021 releases thus far.