James Gray is a director who’s work I really enjoy. It’s fascinating to see that a guy with so much talent has taken so long to direct just four films. “Little Odessa” was a masterpiece. I mean the guy starts his career with a masterpiece. Tim Roth and Edward Furlong were absolutely perfect in the film, and Gray was starting his trilogy about family. Similarly to Wes Anderson, Gray is a director who has the same theme from film to film. With “We Own the Night”, I felt that he had directed the best film of his career, and that he could never dream of anything better. Then I heard he was directing a drama starring his De Niro, the one and only Joaquin Pheonix. Gray has always done crime dramas, but this was the first time he spoke of romance, and it is a subject he masters as well as any other. In the first frame of the film, Phoenix is walking towards on the peer in Brooklyn and he jumps off it to commit suicide. Everything is perfect in that scene, and Gray manages to hook you up from the first seconds, and then you don’t want to leave Pheonix’s character. Something tells you that you want to know what’s going to happen to him, even though the only real drama in the film is the choice between two women. In the end, Gray went with the anti-Hollywood ending, and he did what neo-realists would have done. There is no higher power that’s going to make your life better all of a sudden, there is no chance to be happy with every aspect of our life and in the end we just have to suck it and deal with it. Gray hasn’t lost hope in humanity; in fact, he has a clearer view of humanity than a lot of directors. I really loved that film. I’m not sure I want to see it again anytime soon, but it really grabbed me and didn’t let go. It’s a strong film. It’s strong because it’s real, and even though we all wish we lived in a Hollywood film sometimes, things never turn out like they do in romantic comedies. Life is a drama. A real romantic drama and there’s nothing we can fucking do about it so we might as well deal with it!