“The Edge of Love” gets a release date

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One of my most anticipated movies of 2008 now has a U.K. release date. The Edge of Love — a biopic about the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, starring Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller and scripted by Knightley’s mother, Sharman Macdonald — will be the opening night film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 18. It will open in London two days later, and then across the U.K. June 27.

Why all this anticipation, I hear you ask? Well, if for no other reason, I’d be excited by this movie as a chance to see two actresses I really like together on-screen. With apologies to those people — and I know there are quite a lot of them, especially people from Pittsburgh — who find Sienna Miller madly annoying, I actually think that she’s quite a good actress. And, no, it doesn’t hurt that she looks like she does. (It doesn’t hurt that Keira Knightley looks like she does, either.)

Adding to my interest, though, is the hint that the relationship between their characters might not be entirely platonic. In the film, Knightley plays Vera Phillips, a singer and former flame of Dylan Thomas’, while Miller plays the poet’s wife, Caitlin MacNamara.

Lindsay Lohan was originally attached to star in Miller’s role, and back in 2006 she told MTV: "[Keira] is older than me, but she kind of has a mysterious relationship with my lover. And then there’s somewhat of a lesbian undertone."

Of course, the tabloids instantly took the words "lesbian undertone" to mean "steamy threesome," and ever since Miller joined the project, the tabloids have been babbling on about "Keira and Sienna’s sex scenes." This is in spite of the fact that Keira’s mother squashed any hopes rumors of an overt sexual relationship between the two characters in an interview back in April 2007:

"What sex scene?" said a baffled Macdonald. "It’s a friendship between women. Does one have to define that as lesbian? I don’t mind, but really."

While one doesn’t have to define a friendship between women as lesbian, one is certainly free to notice subtext. Since this article mentions that there are scenes where Keira and Sienna share a bed and a bath together — and since the film’s openly gay director, John Maybury, has described the movie as "a really beautiful love story between the two girls" — I’m hoping that the bond between them may turn out to be something like the relationship between Helena Bonham-Carter and Alison Elliott in the excellent 1997 film The Wings of the Dove. An emotional connection that, even if not overtly sexual, is ultimately as complex and interesting as the relationships they share with men.

Are you excited about the movie? Or does the thought of a Keira-Sienna pairing, whether platonic or romantic, make you want to run a mile?

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