I Am Love
Rarely do we get to see a film as rich and lush as Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love. This film was an instant hit at Cannes and other film festivals, with critics urging everyone to see it as soon as possible. I Am Love is unlike any film you would find coming from America, which is why Americans might be embarrassing something they never get to experience. How perfect is the casting of Oscar winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton, Benjamin Button), she is such a rare and unique actress who holds nothing back no matter what type of role she plays. I Am Love is almost like a theatrical opera with its powerful score that provides the film with much of its intensity. Certainly to be remembered come Oscar time, it will be difficult to anticipate another film with such cinematic grandeur.
Russian born Emma (Swinton) has according to herself become Italian, from her way of life, to the fluent language she now speaks. Married to Tancredi Recchi (Pippo Delbono) who has inherited his father’s prestigious clothing factory, Emma finds herself fascinated with her eldest son’s best friend Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini) who is also a master chef. Her three grown children all have their secrets and are closer to their mother than their business minded father, but her new secret could tear the entire family apart if discovered.
This is not a film for everyone, those who attend films with art in mind are likely to appreciate the unchanging classical approach Guadagnino takes with this film; it’s classical in the style that Italian film has come to represent. It’s very dramatic in the decisions and actions the characters make, the drama is personified by the unforgettable score by first time movie composer, Pulitzer Prize winning John Adams. His score intensifies any scenes it’s played across, but none as importantly as the ending with has all the makings of an opera in its final act.
Swinton’s performance is as good as any she has given, but like the rest of the movie is understated. There are no typically dramatic scenes that shock the audience; however a consistent emotional understanding of Emma makes Swinton’s performance very fluid and fascinating to watch. Swinton has the ability to make herself uniquely attractive or grotesquely unattractive, and both looks are used in this film to express her frame of mind. Guadagnino’s script and direction pays attention to everything in the rooms, in the grass, or in the air as he attempts to make the characters perceptions apart of the audiences. It’s a truly artistic film with a vision that won’t appeal to a mass audience, but certainly is incredibly unique for those willing to appreciate it.
Final Thought – A profoundly artistic picture with Swinton in the center of the pallet.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih