Two Lovers is a 2008 American romantic drama film, taking its inspiration from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's short story "White Nights", which had already been turned into a film 7 times, first by Luchino Visconti: Le Notti Bianche (1957). The movie is directed by James Gray and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Vinessa Shaw. It is set in the largely Russian Jewish neighborhood Brighton Beach in New York City, as was Gray's first movie Little Odessa. Two Lovers premiered in competition at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival in May. The movie is Gray's third to enter the competition at this festival. It was released on February 13, 2009.
Leonard (Phoenix) is walking along a bridge over a creek in Brooklyn, when suddenly he jumps into the water in an attempted suicide. He changes his mind and quickly walks home to his parents' apartment. His mother, seeing him dripping wet, tells her husband their son has tried it again and it becomes evident that Leonard has tried to kill himself before.