Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tilda gets Torrid in "I Am Love"

The week’s big releases are “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” and “The Last of the Airbenders.”
While “Twilight” will probably take on a load of money from loyal fans, I just don’t get the fascination with teenage vampires and werewolves, and at more than two hours in length, life is just too short.
The same goes with the elemental fantasy of M. Night Shymalian’s latest attempt to enthrall us with science fiction.
That leaves me with the Italian film “I Am Love;” a pretentious title if there ever was one.
“I Am Love” is a labor of love for star Tilda Swinton, who also produced the film.
Swinton is Emma, Russian-born head of the household of the wealthy Recchi family of Milan, Italy. Patriarch Edoardo Recci Sr. (Gabriele Ferzetti) is having a birthday, and he announces he is handing over the family textile business to his son Tancredi (Pippo Delbono), Emma’s husband.
However, his grandson Edoardo Jr., called Edo (Flavio Parenti) will have joint control, while Edo’s brother Gianluca is left out of the deal.
So far it doesn’t sound terribly interesting, and it is not. “I Am Love” is once of those self-consciously artsy films with beautiful setups and long silences, directed with gravity by Luca Guadagnino.
There is intrigue in the Recchi clan, however. Emma’s daughter Betta has fallen in love with a woman. More scandalous still, Emma has fallen for Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), Edo’s handsome chef friend who wants to start a restaurant with him.
Trust Emma and Antonio to heat up the kitchen and bedroom, and expect more than consternation when Emma’s mother-in-law (the great Marisa Berenson) finds out what she’s up to.
So “I Am Love” is really about the breakup of a family Italian-style, with plenty of food, sex and nudity. If that appeals to you, I say bon appétit.

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