Tilda Swinton is perfectly cast in this stylish movie, hailed by critics and audiences across the world, ‘I Am Love’ is a cinematic triumph
Release Date: 9 April 2010 (UK)
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Writer: Barbara Alberti (screenplay), Ivan Cotroneo
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini
Language: English, Russian, Italian
Tilda Swinton is perfectly cast in this stylish movie, hailed by critics and audiences across the world, ‘I Am Love’ is a cinematic triumph. The story of a stupidly wealthy Italian family into which a Russian woman, Emma (Swinton) has now arrived into an ordered world of duty and protocol watching her own life from a distance.
But Fate brings her an unexpected love and her stultifying world is smashed open, allowing her the freedom to explore her sexuality and sensuality a world which she embraces with open arms. She falls into a passionate relationship with a young and handsome chef, her son’s friend, bringing tribulation and discord to the family.
Swinton is wonderful as Emma, a convincing mother to her son and daughter and an actress who can make every emotion breathe from her pores without moving a muscle on her face. Initially, the character is somewhat unsympathetic as she swans around the screen in expensive, colourful clothes, leading what seems to be an expensive colourful lifestyle. The sort that most aspire to. But Swinton is skilled enough to reveal bit by bit the fragility of the character and makes us identify with the rich girl, as trapped by money and duty as anyone.
Director Luca Guadagnino is a master. In the early scenes his rapt attention to the minutiae of the splendour of the Recchi family’s life seem at once to be excluding of the audience and self indulgently glorying in the beauty of the shot over storytelling but this is all part of a subtle set up that means we reach breaking point with that world at the same time that Emma does.
The family are revealed over the course of the story a being a disconnected mass, each individual wrapped up in their world to the exclusion of the others, cocooned in luxury. I won’t go into details about the third act which is gloriously compelling and offers a satisfying resolution, you’ll just have to see it! For those who might be looking for a fast paced love story, this isn’t it, the storytelling is bold enough to take it’s time, a throw back to a more confident cinema.
Cinematographer Yorick Le Saux deserves a shout for the camerawork is just beautiful, giving full use of the actors, the sets and the fantastic scenery, culminating in this being one of the best looking films this year. Highly recommended.