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:: I Am Love (Io sono l'amore)

I’m not sure that there have been many films released this year that have frustrated me as much as ‘I Am Love’ did. You can tell a million miles away exactly what the basic storyline will be, yet director, Luca Guadagnino still decides to go all artistic and slowly meander through to the main part of the film. However what saves this film from becoming another ‘A Single Man’ is the fact it has an ending that most filmmakers simply wouldn’t have the guts to pull out and go through with.

The Recchi family have made their fortune in the textiles trade… but a change is coming. While patriarch, Edoardo Snr (Gabriele Ferzetti) hands his company down to younger family members who have different business plans it is the family’s personal problems that come to the forefront. Daughter, Elisabetta (Alba Rohrwacher) has fallen in love with another woman while mother, Emma (Tilda Swinton) is besotted by Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a friend of her son, Edoardo Jnr (Flavio Parenti).

Guadagnino makes the same mistake that so many directors seem to be making these days and that is that an array of artistic shots is enough to make you forget that as a whole the plot is very weak. It doesn’t take an intelligent film lover to see that there will be a relationship develops between Antonio and Emma, but it seems Guadagnino believes that artistic shots of chandeliers may just be enough to trick some audience members… and also drag out the story. But what he forgets is that the basis for a good movie is a great script. Characters like Elisabetta are simply forgotten about when the affair starts… annoying if that was a story you were enjoying. However, the thing that saves this film is a brilliant ending. The finale is a surprise and very brave decision by the filmmakers… I won’t give it away, but it will take you by surprise.

The other big weakness with ‘I Am Love’ is the soundtrack. A lot has been said about the ‘great’ John Adams stepping in to write the score for this film, but I have to admit that it was obviously a mistake. Adams’ score jumps out of the audience like a shark coming out of the water… there is nothing subtle about it… and it times it doesn’t seem to match the mood of the film.

Artistic film-lovers will jump to the defense of ‘I Am Love’ but a brilliant performance by Tilda Swinton isn’t enough to gloss over the fact that the story is weak and only saved by a brilliant ending. A middle-of-the-road film that should have been a lot better.