Friday, August 27, 2010

Quick Look: I AM LOVE

I’m not the type of person to fall head-over-heels for Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love, but I am not wholly immune to its aesthetic power. And if you are the type of person who’ll flip for this lush yet chilly Euro melodrama, then you are certainly in for a treat I will not begrudge you. At best, this sumptuous story about a rich Italian family floated me into its ridiculously beautiful imagery on the swirling score culled from the work of modern composer John Adams. At worst, all the aural and visual sensations distracted and distanced me from the story, leaving me cold and uninvolved. Tilda Swinton as the main character, a repressed woman who slowly realizes the extent of her confinement as her appetites – and identity – are reactivated, is the main attraction. She’s a daring actress who plays some of the most perfectly realized, and varied, characters in film today, from Michael Clayton to The Chronicles of Narnia to Orlando. She’s a treasure. The rest of the cast members (especially Flavio Parenti as Swinton’s son and Edoardo Gabbriellini as a chef with entrepreneurial aspirations) are remarkable as well; no one strikes a wrong note or lets the filmmaking overpower performance. While the style of the film left me outside the emotion of the narrative, there is such beauty in it that I find myself with warm memories of the viewing experience. Often I Am Love hypnotized me with its filmmaking, but it was almost a disappointment every time I fell out of the trance and realized that there was an actual plot underneath.

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