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Lavish I Am Love 

This melodramatic Italian family epic radiates, thanks to Tilda Swinton's presence.

How much you enjoy I Am Love will depend on how you feel about slowly unfolding, melodramatic European soap operas. Daughter of a Russian art dealer, Emma (Tilda Swinton), married into the Recchi family, an multigenerational Italian textile dynasty rich in tradition, but isolated from reality. Many years and two children later Emma still feels like an outsider, more comfortable with the caterers than at the dinner table. It's not until she meets a young chef named Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini) that Emma begins to let go. Lavishly shot and styled, almost to the point of distraction---the two sex scenes (including one where Emma basically makes love to Antonio's tasty prawn) are unapologetically over-the-top erotic. John Adams' pounding dramatic score only lends to the moody drama. Italian family epics are certainly nothing new, but this is only one with Swinton, whose radiant presence lifts I Am Love into elegant art.


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Vol 24, No 34
January 19, 2017

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