“i am love” is a luxurious and decadent movie…

…an absolute macrocosm of passion! not just carnal passion but passion for life, family, freedom and yes, love. the movie centers around the recchi family, specifically on the russian woman who has long settled on life in milan as wife, mother, dutiful daughter in law and household manager/hostess. she is impeccable and beyond reproach, quiet in demeanor and quick to defer to her extended italian family. the children are grown and coming into their own with all of the enthusiasm of an expected bright future. played by tilda swinton, the story follows emma recchi through the awakening of her senses and the subsequent headlong plunge into illicit love with the friend of her oldest son.

the visual impact of this movie was absolutely breathtaking and each frame upon pause an opportunity to ponder on life as it is. the beauty lies not in lining up the most exquisite scenery or panoramic views but in it’s simplicity and it’s reflection of how we see every day events. the tone, lighting and texture layered throughout anchors you firmly. the story flows as it would in any family without the overwrought melodrama of most dramatic films. it is incredibly believable and i was completely submerged in the experience. watching this story unfold towards it’s inevitable end, one can’t help but empathize so completely with emma given her lifetime of fitting herself rather neatly into the needs of others and it concludes with a whisper that’s impossible to ignore.

tilda swinton was pure genius, her acting subtle and finely nuanced which leaves me even more disappointed at her loss to natalie portman. ms. portman is a fine actress in her own right and did as well as she could with the black swan but i just found the movie melodramatic and wrought with clichés. darren aronofsky took a page from the gloria swanson school of acting (read: sunset boulevard) and built an entire movie around it that just lacked credibility. “i am love” left off the theatrics and told the story of a woman’s transformation with grace and beauty and showcased tilda swinton’s impeccable acting skills which, by the way, were put to the test considering the entire movie is in italian! directed by luca guadagnino, “i am love” simply can’t be missed.