In the spirit of the film itself, I’m going to keep things short: here’s why you should see if Strange Way of Life is playing in a theater near you.
1. Strange Way of Life was written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Talk to Her, and Pain and Glory. He described the project as an “answer” to Brokeback Mountain. It’s only Almodóvar’s second English-language project, following the Tilda Swinton-starring The Human Voice (it was released during the pandemic so you may have missed it).
2. It stars Pedro Pascal as a gunslinger and Ethan Hawke as a sheriff who rekindle their sexual relationship after 25 years apart. Things get complicated, however, when Hawke goes after Pascal’s son for killing a local woman.
3. You don’t get to see Pascal and Hawke’s roll in the hay, so to speak (although Pascal’s butt makes a cameo), but they have strong chemistry together. “I don’t imagine sexual chemistry as something to approach,” The Last of Us star told IndieWire in a pre-strike interview. “It’s simply a matter of playing the character. Pedro put his trust in us to inhabit the story as he felt so much of the work was accomplished by casting. I think there’s a disarming and playful sexiness to everything Pedro does, so it’s exciting to step into that world. It also helped to have a scene partner as good as Ethan.”
4. There’s a scene where an item of clothing will turn every Taylor Swift fan into the Leo pointing meme.
5. This isn’t about Strange Way of Life, per se, but if you haven’t watched the Reservation Dogs episode with Ethan Hawke, you should get on that. You should also watch the entire very special show. Don’t be a sh*tass.
6. In a flashback, younger versions of Pascal and Hawke’s characters start making out after shooting a big bag of wine.
7. Are you sick of bloated blockbusters? Well, Strange Way of Life is only 30 minutes long. That’s less than half the runtime of the Ted Lasso series finale. It’s not the best movie you’ll see this year, or even this month, and it honestly could be longer to fill out the backstory. But Almodóvar fills the screen with warmth, Pascal and Hawke give grounded performances, and again, 30 minutes. You can spare 30 minutes — and then spend the next 30 minutes trying to buy Pascal’s green coat.
You can check to see if Strange Way of Life is playing near you here.