Just watched this film, over the weekend and I really loved it. To me it seemed more like the foreign films I love – character studies. The film has both simplicity and at the same time great depth. Joaquin Phoenix conveyed Leonard’s world convincingly, exposing his pathos so well that at times it was painful to watch. The film was dark in hue and also in content but the moment Gwyneth Paltrow first appears in the film, she infused it with life. I actually remember thinking “okay, now we’ve got a story”. Some people are just luminous that way and in addition to being such a good actress, she actually brings the film alive with her mere presence as the vibrant but lost Michelle. Isabella Rossellini and Moni Moshonov felt authentic as his parents, who only seemed to want the best for their son, while trying to gently lead him away from the edge and back to life again. I thought Vinessa Shaw played well the girlfriend who feels she can save Leonard from himself. Gray was able to write her role not as the typical long-suffering clueless girlfriend, but rather as a strong woman who believes she knows what Leonard needs. Well done to writer and director, James Gray.