Having just seen this film at the cinema, and been keen to see what Ira Sachs would do with what, apparently, is quite autobiographical material, I must say I found the story of Erik and Paul an involving one. It seems to me that it is quite original in looking at a gay relationship over a 9 year period and showing its various phases; watching these two excellent actors makes you feel how complex the interaction between two people often is at any given moment, the psyche seems to be such a finely-tuned thing. It's true that Erik is shown rather more than Paul, a bit as if we were watching a tennis match but always from the same side of the net. However this is entirely in keeping with the first person perspective, which has the ring of authenticity. Too much explaining of Paul's drug problem would have made it too much of a case study, and much more verbally heavy, whereas Sachs engages largely through images. Stills from the film would look a bit like Nan Goldin's photos - there are lots of interiors with the light coming from a lamp we can see, and the camera framing the characters with great immediacy, yet it is not without a sense of composition, and the expressiveness of Thure Lindhardt's face is one of the most memorable things about the film. At times his smile reminded me of Jeanne Moreau(!), although the keynote of his character is an immense gentleness. He also seems to be very sexually driven, a counterpart to Paul's drug use, if a more manageable one. In that sense it could be compared to Steve McQueen's Shame, but this film is infinitely warmer. It feels afterwards like a tender if ultimately sad embrace; you certainly feel the sadness, yet the images give a lot of pleasure that's quite hard to pin down.