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First Love, Second Chance

Director Paul Cox ponders the nature of love in this sincere tale of romance about two elderly people who debunk convention and follow their hearts. An aging Andreas (Charles Tingwell) realizes that a woman named Claire (Julia Blake), with whom he had a love affair forty years back, is living nearby. He sends her a letter hoping to unite with her. Their meeting stirs up old feelings, and, to the confusion of their families, the two begin a lusty liason. The power of the film lies in Cox's fearlessly honest approach to such questions as the relationship between aging and loyalty, and the interplay between sensuality and love. Julia Blake's performance is touching in its clarity. The balance she maintains between attachment and anger towards her husband, John (Terry Norris), and companionship and passion towards Andreas is remarkable. Tingwell manages to keep from being overly sentimental by a whimsical vigor he injects into his characterization. In flashbacks of the couple's early years, Cox uses 8mm film stock to give these sequences a texture that is the embodiment of nostalgia and ephemera. Cox tells us, "Love is the only thing worth believing in. It's naive to believe otherwise."

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Directed by: 
Paul Cox
Running Time: 
Julia Blake, Charles Tingwell, Terry Norris, Marta Dusseldorp
Screenplay by: 
Paul Cox

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