Keep the Lights On chronicles an emotionally and sexually charged journey of two men in New York City through love, friendship, and addiction. Documentary filmmaker Erik (acclaimed Danish actor Thure Lindhardt in his first leading role in a U.S. film) and closeted lawyer Paul (Zachary Booth, Damages) meet through a casual encounter, but soon find a deeper connection and become a couple. Individually and together, they are risk takers--compulsive, and fueled by drugs and sex. In an almost decade-long relationship defined by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity while being true to himself. Keep the Lights On is shot with a grainy beauty that resonates with the texture of New York City, accentuated by disco beats and a mournful cello, both from musician Arthur Russell's eclectic catalog. Director Ira Sachs's fearlessly personal screenplay is anchored by Lindhardt, who embodies Erik's isolation and vulnerability with a gentle presence. Harrowing and romantic, visceral and layered, Keep the Lights On is a film that looks at love and all of its manifestations, taking it to dark depths and bringing it back to a place of grace.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
The look, mood and rhythm of the film are exquisitely, even thrillingly authentic.A.O. Scott, New York Times, 09.06.2012
A harsh yet delicate tale of two New Yorkers whose co-dependent relationship is fueled by sex, drugs and complex longings for companionship.David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, 09.13.2012
A tough, well-acted little indie ...Lou Lumenick, New York Post, 09.06.2012
When you summon memories of this film, they are almost always of two men in a room, in a default state of discontent.Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 10.24.2012