Keep the Lights On | Chicago Reader

Keep the Lights On

Following Married Life (2007), an unconvincing foray into period neo-noir, writer-director Ira Sachs returns to the messy modern romance that defined his breakthrough feature, Forty Shades of Blue (2005). The lovers this time are an indigent documentary maker in the East Village (Thure Lindhardt) and a crack-addicted lawyer in Chelsea (Zachary Booth), who meet by way of a telephone hook-up service and spend the next nine years making each other happy and miserable in roughly equal measure. Sachs focuses so intensely on the strife between them that what binds them together is never entirely clear (aside from their red-hot sex life, generously represented on-screen). But in tracking their relationship from first meeting to last, he's created a complex and mysterious tale of a love affair, one that lacks the tidy story arc of a movie but feels real. With Julianne Nicholson and Paprika Steen.

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