Starring: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch
Written By: Jim Jarmusch
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr 3 min
Some films dramatically present an important time and a place, and others recreate famous past events and people for our education and entertainment. Some films simply want to make us laugh or cry, and others try to dazzle us with spectacle. Only Lovers Left Alive, isn’t any of those. It’s a film that delivers a mood. In this case specifically, a cool mellow vibe, methodically exploring a refreshingly unique take on the vampire genre.
Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton), centuries old lovers struggling to stay anonymous and alive in the 21st century. Looking to provide comfort for each other, and bemoan a decaying world as humans (Adam calls them zombies) fight political battles and squabble for finite resources, when wondrous possibilities surround them every day. Polluting their planet, and their own blood, as the world runs ever faster without pausing for understanding.
It has to be said, not a whole lot actually happens in Lovers, and the movie mostly seemed designed to deliver a subtle humorous gibe about the modern world, and support two great performances by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton. It’s like hanging out at the best venue in town for haunting grungy ambient music that no one knows about. A softly lit secret club that’s invite only to the select few that can appreciate it.
It’s the kind of film you just need to relax with and accept. Chill out, turn the lights off, and fall back into a really comfortable chair and let it just play with no expectations. Appreciate the detailed production design, and Yorick Le Saux’s (Arbitrage) stunning cinematography. Understand director Jim Jarmusch’s (Ghost Dog, Dead Man) slow steady approach with the telling of this story, and enjoy the subtle humor in his script.
As I said, not a whole lot happens in this film, and you may find it too slow, maybe even boring if your tastes don’t respond to this kind of thing. For Tilda Swinton fans this is a must see. The movie is rated R for some bad language and brief nudity.
This is a great looking film, and a theater screening would be the best way to enjoy it. At home a HD showing on a nice big TV is the way to go. Ultimately, you need to watch this where you can be comfortable. Trying to watch this on a laptop, tablet, phone or even on a flight, is not recommended.
Best Moment: << spoiler! >>
Adam and Eve have to dispose of a body, so they take it to an abandoned factory that has a large pool of some kind of acid available. They throw the body in the acid, and the skin melts away from the corpse in seconds, revealing the skull. Gruesome, but then it’s followed by a great line from Eve.
“That certainly was visual.”