daily stream: a grownup couple and their realistic romance

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British indie filmmaker Clio Barnard’s latest treasure is the lovely, gentle romance Ali & Ava, set in the Yorkshire city of Bradford, about a couple that we don’t see the likes of often onscreen. It pains me to say that Ava is an “older woman,” because Claire Rushbrook, who plays her, is two years younger than me, yet here we are. But it’s great to see that Adeel Akhtar, as Ali, is nine years younger than her, an age gap we don’t typically see. But the real pleasure of their story is how easily their relationship develops, how realistically they navigate the expectations of their friends and families when they reveal their growing connection, and just how grounded their tale is. This is a love story that is genuinely grownup in a way that filmmakers don’t often bother with, with a passion that is subtle and underplayed.

US: stream on Kanopy and Showtime (via Prime); rent/buy on Prime and Apple TV

UK: stream on Netflix through May 17th; rent on Curzon Home Cinema and BFI Player; rent/buy on Prime and Apple TV

See Ali & Ava at Letterboxd for more viewing options.

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