I Am Love

Rated 4.0

While Tilda Swinton has often impressed me, she’s never really blown me away. In fact, I find her participation in the Narnia films quite tiresome and annoying. If her place in Narnia is what pays the bills and enables her to break away and make astoundingly good pictures like I Am Love, then I can almost forgive the existence of the “Jesus is a lion” movies. Not quite, but almost. Swinton plays a Russian woman who marries an Italian man and lives an empty life in a big house, until a young chef awakens her in many ways. This is an Italian movie, and Swinton learned how to speak some Italian and Russian for the part of Emma Recchi. Not only does she speak Italian in this movie, she does so with a Russian accent. And, much to her credit, she makes all of this seem natural and easy. For some performers, a feat like this could be seen as a stunt for attention. Swinton makes it seem second nature, as if she’s been starring in Italian movies for her entire career. The look of Luca Guadagnino’s movie has a classic sweep that brings to mind the works of Francis Ford Coppola and even Hitchcock. Swinton and Guadagnino’s passion project is a standout motion picture featuring a two-fisted performance that marks a new high in Swinton’s career.