Luca Guadagnino’s film I Am Love is like a divinely prepared italian dish – it makes your senses tingle, but never leaves you fully satisfied. Instead, you crave for more. Indeed, if Guadagnino was a chef, he’d be in the haute cuisine.
I Am Love (originally, Io sono l’amore) pictures a Milanese bourgeois family. In its very heart is Emma, a Russian, who has almost lost her identity, she no longer knows her real name. A perfect wife, a beautiful peace of furniture in a prison-like house. Only the confidence of her children towards her, differ Emma from other members of the Recchi family – she is the alive one, not pretending to be as perfect as a museum item.
Where is perfection, there is trouble. And when everyday has absolutely no taste, it does not take much to wake senses. It comes as no surprise, that it can be done with an exquisite dish (as this is an italian film). This and a series of (non)accidental events lead to a passionate love affair between Emma and Antonio – her son’s friend, a young and very gifted chef.
Luca Guadagnino has the talent not to bring this love affair to a triviality. Truly beautiful photography, fluid movements of camera accompany nothing but the right moments of the script. Though, sometimes, the story is too elliptical, leaving too much for spectator’s imagination. Costume design is milanese to the bone, abstinent elegance without exceptions – very convenient to majestic Tilda Swinton.
She is the crown jewel of this movie, in the center of the story, but in perfect harmony with other actors. No-one could play better this role of an aloof and enigmatic woman, than she does. Guadagnino, undoubtedly did the right choice for his leading lady and muse. With Swinton his film obtains a more deeper dimension – no surface perceptible sensations, you have to emerge yourself to perceive and to understand.
In the end, I can say that I Am Love pleases all your senses. Highly aesthetic film, somewhat reminding of older days of italian cinema. At some point reminding Pasolini’s Teorema – with some ambiences of the family’s villa and omnipresent sensuality… Certainly, one of best creations of contemporary italian cinema.