I am Love—Movie

What to make of I am Love? Written and directed by Luca Guadagnino, I am Love is beautiful to watch, but oh so painful to sit through. An Italian drama with English subtitles, I am Love is the study of the disintegration of the wealthy Milanese Recchi family, a family with each member holding secrets of his or her own. It is the secrets and actions of mother and son that propel the story forward.

Years ago Tancredi Recchi (Pippo Delbono), while in Russia, met and fell in love with Emma (Tilda Swinton). He brought her back to Milan where they had three children, sons Edoardo, Jr. (Flavio Parenti) and Gianluca (Mattia Zaccaro), and daughter Elisabetta (Alba Rohrwacher). At one time Tancredi and Emma probably had a passion-filled marriage; now Emma appears to have become nothing more than a show-wife in a boring, loveless union. It is at a family gathering that Emma meets Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a chef friend of Edoardo with whom he plans to open a restaurant. There is instant chemistry between Emma and Antonio, and after much “quiet” flirtation, the two embark on a torrid affair.

I am Love has a very sensual feel to it…the eating of food, the dressing and undressing. The camera lingers over it all with lush music in the background. The problem is that it’s all too much…too much lingering…too much melodramatic music. There is one scene in which Emma rolls around in the field with Antonio. This scene went on for so long that I started to wonder and worry about Tilda Swinton’s health. How could the palest actress in the world stay out in the sun so long? I found myself pondering about what number sunscreen she was wearing. Unfortunately I am Love has too many scenes like this.

The saving grace to I am Love is Tilda Swinton. She astonishes as she blossoms before our eyes. Actually the entire cast is very good. Sadly their numerous talents are wasted.

 1 ½ nuggets out of 4

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