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ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (review)

only_lovers_left_alive_ver7ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
Written and Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska

After a four-year absence from the film industry, writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s gothic vampire film breathes new life into the rapidly decaying genre. ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE follows vampires Adam (Tom Hiddleston), a reclusive musician living in a dilapidated house in Detroit, and his wife Eve (Tilda Swinton), who lives on the other side of the world in Tangier. After Eve feels that they have been apart far too long, she travels (night flights only, of course) to stay with Adam in Detroit. Things seem to be going well for Adam and Eve, until one night when Eve’s troubled sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) shows up on their doorstep.

Not only is Jarmusch’s film gorgeous to look at, it is also funny and extremely well written. This is exemplified earlier on in the film when Ian (Anton Yelchin), Adam’s man on the outside who gets him whatever he needs, shows Adam a selection of guitars. This scene (an homage to the arms dealer scene from TAXI DRIVER) is a perfect example of Jarmusch’s talent as a writer. He captures the beauty of the guitars being showcased, with his gift for unusual dialogue, but still makes everything seem entirely natural at the same time.

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ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE also features some top notch acting. Hiddleston is great, but, like always, Swinton flies high above the rest. Her performance seems so genuine that one might mistakenly think Swinton is a vampire in real life (and who’s to say she’s not). The cast is rounded out by small, but still powerful, performances by Jeffrey Wright and John Hurt, as Adam and Eve’s blood suppliers. The film is a joy to watch, from beginning to end and is easily the best vampire film to be made in over a decade.

4

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One Comment

  1. I fully agree; this is easily the best vampire movie I’ve seen in ages. I almost felt as if Jarmusch was flipping off all other contemporary vampire films the entire time by stating that this is how vampires would be “living” today, if they walked amongst us. Swinton and Hiddleston are so relaxed in their parts, you genuinely get the feeling they’ve been around for centuries. They are literary, artistic, sensual and romantic; just as one would expect a character who has “lived” for centuries to be. It is just a beautiful and intoxicating film.

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