Monday, August 4 2014, 04:17 PM MDT
Movie Reivew: Only Lovers Left Alive
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska
Genre: Drama, Horror, Romance
Recommended To: Those looking for fresh and intelligent vampire tale.
Synopsis: Adam (Tom Hiddleston), a secluded and depressed musician, is visited by Eve (Tilda Swinton) his centuries-old lover. Eve's attempts to cheer Adam are thwarted when her sister, the rebellious Ava (Mia Wasikowska) decides to visit as well.
Review: A few years back I was of the mind that vampire films had been done to death and that there was little point in trying to revive the corpse. Since then I've been treated to films like Neil Jordan's Byzantium, Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One In (plus Matt Reeves' overlooked English-language remake Let Me In), Jim Mickle's Stake Land and now Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive to prove me wrong.
Like many of Jarmusch's films Only Lovers Left Alive is heavy on character as we are welcomed into the mind of Tom Hiddleston's Adam, a vampire who has struggled with depression throughout his life. He's a tortured artist, a philosopher of sorts, an inventor and a man who has become increasingly disgusted with humanity and by extension his own existence. An existential vampire, who would have thought?
To balance Adam, as well as the narrative, we are given Tilda Swinton's romantic and lushly passionate Eve. To disrupt the calm we have Ava, Eve's younger sister played with the perfect blend of juvenile selfishness by Mia Wasikowska. Ava is an immortal teenager who has yet to progress beyond her vapid and careless behavior. Eve is exotic, but restrained. Adam feels revealed while Eve is cloaked in a certain mystery. What wonders and horrors has she witnessed or participated in?
If you're looking for ample amounts of gore or visceral frights you're going to be disappointed. If you're looking for something a bit more challenging, a story about the inner struggle of a vampire that goes beyond the gothic camp of Interview with the Vampire, then I highly recommend the gorgeous polished gloss of Only Lovers Left Alive.
-Ryan Michael Painter