A long-term relationship threatens to implode over the course of one tumultuous night. After six years together, thirty-something couple Henry (Ben Feldman) and Dianne (Olivia Thirlby) find themselves caught between their fears of commitment and societal pressure to settle down and marry.
An impulsive decision and a surprise revelation send each into an emotional tailspin. Heading out into the LA night, both Henry and Dianne encounter strangers — he a free-spirited rocker (Adam Goldberg), she a charming artist (Analeigh Tipton) — who offer the possibility of new romantic thrills. The choices each makes will determine what — if anything — will be left of their relationship come morning.
Between Us is a 2016 American drama film written and directed by Rafael Palacio Illingworth. The film stars Olivia Thirlby, Ben Feldman, Adam Goldberg, Analeigh Tipton, Scott Haze, Peter Bogdanovich and Lesley Ann Warren. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 18, 2016. It received a limited release and through video on demand on January 6, 2017, by IFC Films.
Film Review for Between Us
Writer/director Rafael Palacio Illingworth explores the complications of a long-term relationship in the romantic drama “Between Us.” Olivia Thirlby and Ben Feldman are well matched as Dianne and Henry, a Los Angeles couple marching inexorably toward marriage and a lifetime together despite their unspoken fears, doubts and resistance. They strain at the mundanity engendered by cohabitation, trying to assert their own individuality within the union.
Henry is a filmmaker yearning for a more bohemian and creative lifestyle; Dianne is entranced by the luxury and wealth of her corporate clients. Both of their desires are embodied by people they meet outside of the relationship — for Henry, it’s wild child musician Veronica (Analeigh Tipton), and Dianne, experimental theater producer and actor Liam (Adam Goldberg).
Illingworth’s aesthetic style is observational and imbued with a sense of realism that turns toward the surreal through uncomfortably close and daringly framed close ups, smash cut edits and a unique approach to text and images on screen. He uses sound to intimately intertwine the couple — during scenes while they are apart, the other partner’s voice-over underscores just how well they know each other, confessing secrets and observations they’ve made over their six years together.
The loose style of the film is held together by the strong performances from the leads and supporting actors alike (Peter Bogdanovich and Lesley Ann Warren make a memorable appearance). The challenges of long-term relationships displayed here are familiar, but the most surprising thing about “Between Us” could be its ultimate belief in loving commitment.
Directed by: Rafael Palacio Illingworth
Starring: Olivia Thirlby, Ben Feldman, Adam Goldberg, Analeigh Tipton, Scott Haze, Peter Bogdanovich, Lesley Ann Warren, Alison Sudol, Betsy Brandt, Cherilyn Wilson, Jessie Carter, Azize Erim
Screenplay by: Rafael Palacio Illingworth
Production Design by: Nicolas Kelley
Cinematography by: Todd Banhazl
Film Editing by: Daniel Raj Koobir
Costume Design by: Alexis Johnson
Set Decoration by: Jessica Shorten
Art Direction by: Dustin James Tiberend
Music by: Ephrem Lüchinger
MPAA Rating: None.
Distributed by: IFC Films
Release Date: January 6, 2017