The Other Man wasn’t supposed to be on my final TIFF list. But, due to some oversight on my part, I ended up ordering a ticket. I seriously considered trading it for something else, or not bothering to go at all. It was playing at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, possibly the worst slot for a movie. And, I didn’t have another movie until 2:45, so sleeping in was really appealing. But, I managed to get my ass out of bed and I am so glad I did.
In a word, the film is about adultery, but there is so much more to it. Laura Linney and Liam Neeson are Peter and Lisa, a long-married, seemingly happy couple until she vanishes one day. Peter soon discovers that Lisa was having a long-term affair with Ralph (pronounced the Fiennes way, played by Antonio Banderas) and goes to Milan to meet the other man that his wife loved and to try to learn the details of their relationship. Ralph is unaware of who Peter is, and the two become acquainted over regular chess matches.
But, this is just the set-up and to say anything would spoil the ride. This movie goes from very good to great and all three leads are at the top of their games – especially Neeson, who does most of the emotional weight-lifting. Definitely worth getting out of bed for.