I Am Love (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/04/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 120 mins

Beautifully directed and superbly written, this is an extremely stylish melodrama that packs a powerful emotional punch thanks to a terrific central performance from Tilda Swinton.

What's it all about?
Directed by Luca Guadagnino, I Am Love (or Io Sono L'Amore) stars Tilda Swinton as Emma Recchi, the Russian-born wife of wealthy Italian businessman Tancredi (Pippo Delbono), who has just inherited his still-living father's company but finds himself ordered to share it with his son, Edo (Flavio Parenti). Unfulfilled by her relationship with Tancredi and with her other children (Alba Rohrwacher and Mattia Zaccaro) having flown the nest, Emma begins an ill-advised affair with her son's friend Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), an immigrant chef who is planning to open a restaurant with Edo.

The Good
The film is beautifully shot, with Yorick Le Saux's stunning cinematography making the most of both the gorgeous Milanese locations and the sumptuous shots of food. There are also several superbly shot sequences that serve as both exciting scenes in their own right and also elaborately constructed film references – for example, there are several references to the films of both Visconti and Douglas Sirk, while a lengthy sequence in the middle of the film echoes the shadowing sequence in Hitchcock's Vertigo to brilliant effect.

Swinton is terrific as Emma, creating a stifled character who gradually comes alive as she breaks free of the family and conveying a wealth of emotion with remarkably little dialogue; as such, the climax of the film is extremely moving. There's also strong support from Gabbriellini and from Alba Rohrwacher as Elisabetta, whose lesbian subplot subtly parallels Emma's story.

The Great
In addition, there's a terrific score by John Adams that works beautifully throughout, in unexpected and frequently delightful ways.

That said, the film does drag a little in the middle section (before rallying for an effectively suspenseful climax) and it's occasionally frustrating that the other characters aren't as well drawn as Emma.

Worth seeing?
In short, I Am Love is a beautifully directed, stunningly shot and superbly written drama that packs a powerful emotional punch, thanks to a terrific performance from Tilda Swinton. Recommended.

Film Trailer

I Am Love (15)
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Content updated: 21/08/2018 17:04

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