I Am Love
I Am Love centers on wealthy Italian family, the Recchis, and especially on wife Emma (played by Tilda Swinton). Born in Russia, she gave up her identity by marrying into the Recchi family. However, once she discovers her daughter’s break from family’s expectations, it inspires her to escape also. Her pursuit of freedom unfortunately has its most devastating effect on the person you believe she most loves – her son Edoardo (played by Flavio Parenti).
Motives of the characters are not convincingly played out and it is hard to feel sorry for Emma and to believe she couldn’t ‘find herself’ in a way less damaging to her family. Her husband is not cruel, in fact in a key moment of the film he is overwhelmingly compassionate, only to reject her after she first rebuffs him with the ultimate marital insult – a declaration of love for someone else. This new relationship feels bound to fail and even an extended and erotically filmed sex scene cannot convince you that love truly exist in this form of escape.
Tilda Swinton however cannot be faulted. She is a wonderful character actress and more than skilled enough to carry the film. She seems to have a control on her face which allows her to appear beautiful in one scene and wretched in the next.
Along with Swinton’s performance, the cinematography saves this movie. It captures a timeless feel, opening like an old fashioned film – classic titles at the beginning and dramatic theme music (the musical score of the film is also an achievement) overlays snow swept urban landscapes which make the film almost appear black and white. The direction and production values display a loving, slow craft, that modern film all too often lacks.
Reviewed by: Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod