Two Lovers and a Bear

Vulnerability and the ability to speak with a polar bear

When Dane DeHaan ambles on screen, his skin is usually sallow and his eyes sag down into a deep blue contusion. Like Edward Furlong and Nick Stahl before him, he is the latest thin-boned actor consistently cast as a vulnerable, troubled, and occasionally demented young man. It will be interesting to see if his imagination can find another source of inspiration outside of his blackened spleen. He could follow the example of Leonardo DiCaprio or James Franco, but Hollywood has yet to make him over in their image. In Two Lovers and a Bear as Roman, he has the power to speak with bears — or, rather, one particular polar bear who is neither cartoonish nor cuddly. Roman’s girlfriend Lucy (Tatiana Maslany) wants to escape from her past and from the great white north that buries them in a perpetual blanket of snow and ice. If the location and weather are any indication, this must have been a rough shoot for all involved. Canadian director Kim Nguyen references other Arctic films, like The Thing (suspense) and Map of the Human Heart (romantic vistas). Meanwhile, Maslany is adept at playing haunted characters (see Orphan Black), and her Lucy is no exception. She and Roman build a life together outside of logic and the boundaries of human habitation. They are a match made in a frozen heaven.

Two Lovers and a Bear
The film is not rated. Opens Friday at the 4-Star Theatre.

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