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First Look: John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as Gay Grooms in ‘Love Is Strange’

Indie from Ira Sachs debuts on festival circuit next year

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are headed to the chapel in this first released image of the upcoming dramatic comedy “Love Is Strange,” provided exclusively to Variety.

Lithgow and Molina play a gay New York couple who finally decide to tie the knot after 38 years. The film is directed by Ira Sachs, who received a feature Independent Spirit Awards nomination for 2012’s “Keep the Lights On.”

“This is the high point before the drama in the story,” Sachs said. “The consequences of this marriage is one of the men loses his job, and that sets off the rest of the events of the film.”

Sachs said the story was inspired by current events and the legalization of gay marriage in New York in 2011. The film was independently financed, because gay romances are still a genre that the major studios won’t bankroll. (Hollywood wouldn’t even touch “Beyond the Candelabra,” which is why Steven Soderbergh took the Liberace biopic to HBO.)

“This is a sweet film, and I found two actors who, in a way, some of their best-known work has been playing gay men,” Sachs said. “Really, what I got was two of the best actors of their generation who responded emotionally to the story that was told.”

The pic, shot in the Manhattan and Brooklyn, will debut on the festival circuit next year. It also stars Marisa Tomei and Cheyenne Jackson.

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