Two of Us: French Director and Co-Writer Filippo Meneghetti’s Debut, Lesbian Drama (LGBTQ, Lesbian)

An engaging chronicle of a love affair between two aging women neighbors, Two Of Us, marks the impressive feature debut by French director and co-writer Filippo Meneghetti.

First screened at the 2019 Toronto Film Fest and this year’s submission from France to the International Feature Film Oscar race, this drama offers an amour fou partly set in a nursing home.

The unusual mix of a quasi-Hitchcockian approach with modern sexual politics marks Deux (French title).

Magnolia has set a February 5 domestic release, in theaters and on all PVOD digital platforms.

Madeleine, or Mado, which she goes by (Comédie Française Martine Chevallier) is the older and more conventional of the two, but she startles her “neighbor” Nina (Fassbinder and Margarethe von Trotta regular Barbara Sukowa) by announcing she’s prepared to sell her flat and move to Rome to live out there.

But after promising Nina to tell her family the true nature of her relationship with her next-door pal, Mado can’t summon the courage to go through with it. This infuriates her lover, who’s tired of waiting.

Mado’s response to the stress is a serious stroke. She goes mute and, once back in her apartment, she’s put under the care of nurse Muriel (Léa Drucker), who immediately clashes with Nina over what’s best for the patient.

Two Of Us turns into a very enclosed, claustrophobic affair involving illness and manic possessiveness, as Nina and Muriel maneuver for the upper hand.

Tension stems from the uncertainty over whether or not the silent Mado can understand the anxiety she’s stirring up while those charged with her care play a gripping game.

In his first feature, which is set mostly in Montpelier, Meneghetti, who has made three shorts, keeps the visuals lively in close quarters, assisted by cinematographer Aurelian Marra and production designer Laurie Colson.