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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Movie Review - Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright, Slimane Dazi, and John Hurt
Directed by Jim Jarmusch

My only other experience with director-writer Jim Jarmusch was an absolutely awful flick called The Limits of Control, so when I checked out Only Lovers Left Alive from the library and saw that it was penned and helmed by him, the dvd sat atop my tv for nearly two-and-a-half weeks before I decided to give it a shot.  I must admit that I found myself pleasantly surprised.  The slow pace apparent in The Limits of Control was certainly still present, but Only Lovers Left Alive at least contains a story to latch onto that is surprisingly compelling.

In the simplest of terms, Only Lovers Left Alive revolves around Adam and Eve (Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton), two centuries-old married vampires who have evolved into creatures of the night who don't seek out living, breathing humans for their blood sustenance, but instead get their "fix" by other less brutal means.  When Eve's sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) comes to town, things get shaken up a bit and Adam and Eve's mellow life becomes a bit more chaotic than they hoped.

Certainly uncomplicated, that's just about the entire summary of Jarmusch's film.  What keeps you interested are Swinton and Hiddleston, both of whom are surprisingly captivating considering that the first hour of the film is about as slow-paced a film you'll have seen from 2014.  Somehow, though, the two actors are compelling with Hiddleston's mopey and depressed Adam being countered by Swinton's more hopeful and pleasant Eve.  Swinton really is one of the best actresses working today and I continue to be impressed with nearly everything she chooses to take part in, and Hiddleston proves here that there's more to him than the egomaniacal Loki from the Marvel Universe.  In addition, Wasikowska really shines in a small role, popping in at about the one hour mark as the childish Ava to give the flick some much needed verve and pizzazz.

This is one of those flicks that you absolutely have to be in the "mood" to watch and it undoubtedly will not suit everyone's tastes.  However, I found Only Lovers Left Alive to be an intriguing piece of cinema -- one that I assume is much deeper upon subsequent viewings (the Adam/Eve symbolism alone would probably give you enough material to write a research paper), but works quite well on its initial watch as well.

The RyMickey Rating:  B

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