I Am Love


Directed by: Luca Guadagnino
Written by:Luca Guadagnino, Barbara Alberti, Ivan Cotroneo, Walter Fasano
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Pippo Delbono, Diane Fleri
Released: June 24, 2010
Grade: A

I can’t help but smile when I think of the many ways that I Am Love will divide audiences.  At tonight’s preview screening, at least 12 people had walked out by the end.  I’ve also read a few forums on the IMDB with some calling it “hopelessly pretentious” and “massively disappointing”.

If you want my opinion (and you’re about to get it), I think this a beautiful film.  It reminded me in many ways of Tom Ford’s A Single Man which starred Colin Firth.  It features creative cinematography, a booming film score, and a noticeable lack of dialogue.  It’s the kind of movie where you observe the characters rather than listen to them.

The film is set in Italy and is about an incredibly wealthy family who own a large textile company.  Due to his failing health, the head of the company is stepping down.  He’s leaving control to his loyal son and, in somewhat of a surprise, to one of his grandsons.  Will they be able to take the company forward and protect the family name?

Central to the story is the wife of the new chairman.  Her name is Emma Recchi (Swinton) and she was born and raised in Russia.  She’s an interesting character to follow.  I don’t want to reveal too much about the story but events take place which leave her with much to think about.  They question her attachment to her lifestyle and her loyalty to her family.

Throughout the whole film, I found myself analysing every single character.  The film doesn’t explicitly tell us what they’re thinking.  Even some factual details are left out (such as information on the “race” which the grandson competes in).  It’s designed to challenge the audience and I applaud director Luca Guadagnino for his boldness.

What I’ll remember most about I Am Love is its striking visuals.  From the opening credits to the closing credits, this is special stuff.  It may appear random at times (with its abrupt editing and forever changing camera angles) but you get the sense that every single shot has been carefully thought out.  John Adams score also deserves praise and will soon find a place in my soundtrack collection.

I see over 200 films a year and I’m always impressed when something comes along which is outside the "norm".  I Am Love does just that and I hope you’re one of the lucky few who appreciates it.