Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tilda Swinton Show

I Am Love (2009) - Guadagnino
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The film is an elaborate, visually elegant melodrama set in Milan. It tells the fall of the Recchi family, of textile fortune. Starts with the patriach(grandpa Recchi)'s birthday dinner in an opulent mansion where grandpa announces his retirement and leaves the company in the hands of his son Tancredi and grandson Redo (you will need two to replace me!). Tancredi's elegant Russian wife Emma (Tilda Swinton) is smitten by Antonio, a chef friend of her son Redo's. Tancredi is a ruthless businessman who is unafraid of laying off workers or selling the company to the highest bidder, while Redo falls on the sensitive side of the family, along with his artistic, burgeoning lesbian sister Ellis (Alba Rohrwacher, sister of Alice I found out).

It's a complete Tilda show though. Including Emma, every character is very lightly sketched out and two dimensional. But who wouldn't want to see Tilda speaking Italian and Russian and looking chic for two hours? The movie is truly a director's film, it's all about meticulously choreographed swishing tracking shots and movement and editing. There is a rhythmic, fluid quality in Guadagnino's sumptuous filmmaking, reminiscent of Bertolucci and the 70s Italian cinema. The tragedy strikes the Recchis brought upon by Emma's affair with the young chef and the film builds up to virtuosic, heartpounding climax. Too bad that small gestures and subtlties of characters get lost in all the grand technical prowess.