Director: Luca Guadagnino
Story: Luca Guadagnino
Screenplay: Luca Guadagnino, Barbara Alberti, Ivan Cotroneo, Walter Fasano
Producers: Luca Guadagnino, Francesco Melzi d’Eril, Marco Morabito, Tilda Swinton, Alessandro Usai, Massimiliano Violante
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Marisa Berenson
Country of Origin: Italy
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 120 min.
While the stuffier movie goers (such as myself) are going to find a lot to salivate over in Guadagnino’s I Am Love, the Italian’s answer to Terrence Malick, the more typical movie goer might find much of the substance (if you can call it that) within the film to be rather yawn inducing and some of the “overwrought artfulness” of the experience to be so excruciatingly detailed in its pretentiousness that it might be almost laughable. Yet it is exactly that ambitious attention to detail and the filmmaker’s exact intention of stirring all five of the audience’s senses that is possible for a film to provide that has kept this picture stirring around in my brain for the last five days. There might not be a whole lot going on, but there is a whole lot going on from a visceral perspective.
Tilda Swinton leads the cast as Emma; a Russian immigrant who has married into an extremely wealthy, Italian textile tycoon’s family. As the patriarch reaches old age, he announces his son (Emma’s husband) and his now of age grandson as successors to the family business. The grandson then juggles the demands of being a co-CEO of a million dollar corporation along with his real passion of opening a fine restaurant with his Italian friend, Antonio, in the mountains of Italy. The central story thread then follows Emma on an ill-advised affair with Antonio, while the subplots involve family jealousy within the business, corporate ethics, struggling with outing oneself as a homosexual and keeping up appearances within a household holding lavish dinner parties whilst keeping important political ties.