Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Am Love - Movie Review

I Am Love (R) 120 minutes B+
Feast of Love - How Emma got her groove back

Starring Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Gabriele Ferzetti, Pippo Delbono, and Edoardo Gabbriellini

The film opens with postcard-like wintry scenes of Milan's snowy vistas blanketed by a bitter chill. I Am Love is poetic, symbolic and the most visually satisfying film I've seen this year. Director Luca Guadagnino has created a bold melodrama that's artistically astonishing and lustfully delicious.

Emma Recchi (Tilda Swinton) is a Russian exile who married into a rich Italian family. She's a quiet and dutiful wife whose eyes are filled with a mother's love. A wealthy husband, three adult children and a mansion filled with servants, Emma appears to have it all.

For the first ten or fifteen minutes I didn't know what was going on or where the film was headed. I sensed something stirring but wasn't sure why I should care. It's not until Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a talented young chef arrives with a mysterious package that the film begins to take shape.

Antonio eventually becomes best friends with Emma's son, Edo (Flavio Parenti), and impresses Emma with his masterful culinary skills and subtle charm. Winter soon turns to Spring, love comes out of hibernation and into bloom. Emma is reborn, overwhelming passion has resonated and can not be contained.

The love affair that ensues is utterly captivating and organic. Emma is insatiable and alluring, I became so engrossed in her that at one point I swear I could smell her perfume as she roamed the mountainside in a backless orange dress.

I Am Love may require patience from most mainstream audiences, but once this film kicks into gear all of your senses will thank you. Tragically beautiful and emotionally authentic, I Am Love is love at all costs...often the best kind.

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