I Am Love
Autumn 2010 Features series
Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 4:00pm
Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 7:00pm
Directed by Luca Guadagnino
Screenplay by Luca Guadagnino
Starring Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Pippo Delbono
Rated 18A ·
I Am Love (Io sono l’amore)
I Am Love moves through the cultivated world of a wealthy and distinguished Milanese family. Exquisitely shot, beautifully paced and conceived, it is a film of ritual and order, centered on a massive mansion whose airy rooms convey the power and stature of the Recchi family.
The story begins as the family gathers to celebrate the birthday of its patriarch, the man who built their small empire. Handsome grandson Edoardo (Flavio Parenti) introduces his new girlfriend to the family; his sister, Elisabetta (Alba Rohrwacher, Quiet Chaos), presents a painting she has made to her grandfather; a young man who beat the unbeatable Edoardo in a race earlier in the day makes a surprise appearance on the doorstep; and finally, the grandfather announces his succession plan to his family. All of these events mark the beginning of a narrative that sees the carefully controlled, hyper-refined sphere of the Recchis come under increasing strain. Slowly, but inexorably, a series of apparently small, almost innocuous, transgressions begins to unsettle the veneer of manners and etiquette. Edoardo’s parents’ relationship undergoes its first strains, the stranger that topped him in the race turns out to be a central character in the drama, and his sister’s life follows its own striking and separate path. Finally, the family business that is the source of all their wealth and comfort falls under siege.
Director Luca Guadagnino has made a superb film that touches on many different complexities. Sexual and class politics play a key role, as wonderfully controlled moments of passion and emotion suddenly trouble the surface placidity. Featuring a cast headed by Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton, Burn After Reading), speaking Italian and Russian, this is a film in which tradition and modernity collide. A stunning work.
“A gorgeously costumed and styled piece of work.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian