"Delicious, indulgent and never predictable"

I Am Love zones in on a wealthy Italian family as they break away from their close-knit nest, once guarded by their patriarch, Edoardo Recchi Sr. (Gabriele Ferzetti), after he unexpectedly dies at a family reunion. The new-found freedom suddenly available is the catalyst for all sorts of self discovery, observed from Emma's (Swinton) perspective. Rebellion in many forms pokes at the happy bubble they've so far plodded along in and succeeds to turn their lives upside down with no chance of turning back.  

Tilda Swinton and Director Luca Guadagnino came up with the idea of I Am Love some eleven years ago and have been focused on it solidly for the past seven so it comes as no surprise that the end result is at times extremely self-indulgent, with emotional scenes that go way past your comfort threshold, but at no point does it slip into sugarcoated sentimentality. Instead, unsurprisingly for Swinton who spent last summer hauling a mobile cinema across the Scottish Highlands in a bid to make art accessible to all, it's at once sensitive and obscure, sensationalist and unpredictable.   

Tilda doesn't play up to expectations. She doesn't play Emma as a bored wife of a rich businessman biter for not living a different life. She feels no resentment for being catapulted out of her motherland and into the world of Italian haute bourgeoisie, having to take on a new name and learn how to "be Italian". As actress and producer she's not interested in adhering to blockbusting stereotypes. Instead her Emma is equally as strong as she is impressionable, allowing herself to be swept away by overwhelming curiosity and embracing the torment that goes hand in hand with taking the unbeaten path, making her irresistibly endearing.  

In terms of cinematography I Am Love is a beautiful experience with delicious colours and crisp camera angles that puts meaning to that cliché about feasts and eyes. The soundtrack, based on Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Adams' composition “Earbox”, is the perfect cherry to top of this gorgeousness.  

The predominantly Italian cast carries across a genuine innocence, undoubtedly influenced by the unusualness of this venture, making you want to care about them but never blurring the lines between cinema and real life. Their characters are unobtrusive yet definitely not soap-opera naive, creating a very intense yet utterly watchable and entertaining work of art.