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Parents' Guide to

Ordinary Love

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Intimate, well-acted drama explores marriage, illness, loss.

Movie R 2020 92 minutes
Ordinary Love Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Drama does not act well in this movie

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Manville and Neeson's superb central performances elevate this quiet, intimate portrayal of a couple trying to survive the second devastating tragedy of their marriage. Directors Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn, working from a script by Owen McCafferty, manage to create a love story around cancer that isn't melodramatic. The acting is beautifully nuanced and evocative, with the smallest of smirks and quirks expressing so much that goes on between long-married couples. Manville and Neeson are on equal footing as performers, bringing out the best in each other. After years of Neeson playing archetypal angry fathers in revenge thrillers, it's refreshing to see him as a husband who's utterly devoted to his strong, capable wife. And Manville, who's legitimately wonderful in everything, is luminous here as a woman facing the possibility of her own death.

Wilmot is a great supporting player -- his Peter is a kind, gentle man who knows his days are limited but wants to make sure his love, Steve (Amit Shah), can move on with his life. Aside from those two men and a few other doctors, fellow patients, and caregivers, there isn't much of a cast in Ordinary Love. This movie is all about Joan and Tom, and luckily Manville and Neeson are fine enough actors to carry the duo's domestic drama through an entire season in this couple's life. The movie reminds viewers that while cancer (or any chronic illness) affects an individual in a profoundly singular, even lonely, way, it also completely changes the life and scope of that person's partners and loved ones.

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