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I Am Love

105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

I AM LOVE tells the story of the wealthy Recchi family, whose lives are undergoing sweeping changes. Eduardo Sr., the family patriarch, has decided to name a successor to the reins of his massive industrial company, and in so doing, surprises everyone by splitting power between his son Tancredi and grandson Edo. However, Edo dreams of opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio, a talented chef. At the heart of Tancredi's family is his wife, Emma (Tilda Swinton), a Russian immigrant who has adopted the culture of Milan. An adoring and attentive mother, Emma's existence is shocked to the core when she falls deeply in love with Antonio and pursues a passionate love affair that will change his family forever.


This movie is like eating bonbons in a hothouse. For some films, walking the fine line between sublime and silly becomes an entertainment in itself, and such is the case with I Am Love, Luca Guadagnino's lush drama set within an Italian business dynasty in Milan. We see much of the film from the perspective of an outsider who has nevertheless fitted herself into this aristocratic world for many years: Emma, the Russian-born wife of the textile company's new CEO. She's played by Tilda Swinton, whose customarily penetrating work is enhanced by her speaking Russian and Italian (how does she do it?). The Russian heritage might be a tip-off--Emma could have a touch of Anna Karenina about her--because she embarks on a grand affair with a much younger man. The many levels of melodrama play out against gorgeous exteriors and wildly overdressed interiors, as though Guadagnino looked back through Italian film heritage and decided it was time for someone to out-do the opulent visions of Luchino Visconti. Adding to the strong flavor of high aestheticism is the soundtrack, which uses various excerpts of pieces by the great contemporary composer John Adams, to evocative effect (the opening shots of snowed-over Milan buildings are spellbinding). But let's not forget about the silly: one can concede the movie's usefulness as eye candy while noting that there is something fundamentally pretentious and overheated about it all, a designer's vision of storytelling. I Am Love overshoots the sublime by a wide margin, but it's fun to consume. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Commentary with Luca Guadagnino (director) and Tilda Swinton
  • Moments on the set of I Am Love
  • Interviews with cast and crew

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Gabriele Ferzetti, Alba Rohrwacher
    • Directors: Luca Guadagnino
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: Italian
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment - Mongrel Media
    • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010
    • Run Time: 120 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B003L20INS
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,075 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "I Am Love" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    79 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 25, 2010
    Format: DVD
    If you were somewhat skeptical of former Gucci fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford's lush stylisations and emotional resonances in A Single Man, then you'll hardly be convinced by the latest film from Luca Guadagnino, an Italian film director who has worked previously on promotional advertisements for Fendi. In contrast to the stark minimalism of slow-cinema that is currently fashionable in art house cinema, the extraordinarily beautiful I Am Love, as the titles suggests, simply wallows in an excess of sensory and emotional states.

    There's little about the subject that seems attractive, dealing as it does with the lives of an important rich aristocratic Recchi family from Milan, the film dwelling initially on the opulence of their lives, the exquisite furnishings of their family mansion, the elegance of their expensive clothing and the sumptuous extravagance of the haut-cuisine food they as they celebrate the birthday of the family patriarch, Edoardo. At the dinner-party however, the grandfather hands over the running of the successful international family business to his son Tancredi (Pippo Delbono) and his grandson Edoardo Jr. (Flavio Parenti), and although this rankles somewhat, there is clearly a family unity that holds them together and is wary of admitting outsiders.

    Cracks are beginning to show however and it's not just in the realities of the family business trying to keeping up-to-date with the workings of the modern business world, but it's shown also in a number of remarkably subtle ways, all of them stemming from the opening dinner-party.
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    32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Hodson VINE VOICE on November 12, 2010
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    A tall, fine-boned woman with shining blond hair polishes a bowl made of gold. She stands relaxed, as servants bustle about the room--the golden woman calmly polishing the golden bowl. It is an arresting, precise image, the first we see of Emma Recchi, played by the ever more astonishing Tilda Swinton in the film "I Am Love," written and directed by Luca Guadagnino. Swinton and Guadagnino spent seven years developing the story and the characters, and the result is a film of subtle cues and implications, a family drama Shakespearean in complexity and firmly rooted in Greek tragedy. Although the Recchi family is Italian haute bourgeoisie, their attitudes and actions carry the weight of royalty. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that much is expected in this family and that there are consequences for those who disappoint or defy those expectations, that there are people who matter and those who do not, and, more than anything else, that freedom is both glorious and terrible, and always comes with a price.

    After the opening collage of stern, stone facades of a Milan deep in the grey of winter, the interior of the Recchi villa is aglow with rich, warm color. As the servants and Emma work to prepare the table for dinner the family gathers, chatting about the unexpected loss of a race by the eldest son, Edo, to a man no one has heard of--the first disappointment of the evening (Recchis do not lose). Dinner is being prepared for the birthday celebration of the pater familias, Edoardo Recchi, Sr.
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    40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Loves the View VINE VOICE on July 12, 2010
    Format: DVD
    Director Guadagnino carries on the Italian tradition of creating beauty. Every frame of this film must be suitable for framing. You can get lost in the stylish world of the Recchi Family, the streets of Milan or the beautiful countryside. There is wonderful attention to the behind the scenes work of the servants, how they silently and gracefully facilitate the family's life of elegance.

    The Recchi family is on the threshold of change. The patriarch and head of the family business has suitably chosen a family dinner to announce that his son and grandson will now take the reigns. His son wants to modernize and sell the business; his grandson wants to carry it on with all its benevolent traditions.

    While this particular piece of glue that holds the family together is coming apart other family members are asserting their independence in different ways. Here, the patriarch's daughter-in-law, a true outsider, a Russian beauty and his granddaughter, her daughter, follow their hearts. This is where the film's visual beauty meets with operatic passion, further illustrated in music by John Adams. The coming apart is both stunning and devastating. The films final images will stay with you for days.
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    30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Turiya on August 18, 2010
    Format: Blu-ray
    This movie is like a sophisticated meal that takes time to consume, its not fast food with instant gratification. Nothing is handed to you as far as plot like ordinary Hollywood stuff, rather you are just a silent witness to the unfolding lives of the people involved. It is a slow, deliberate but delicious unfolding of the story, and like any good meal, a fantastic dessert at the end. It wasn't until I consumed the whole meal could I express `I LOVE THIS MOVIE!' I left the theater in an altered state for several hours which to me is always a sign of a fantastic film. Tilda Swinton is just phenomenal as she is in anything she does. One of the best movies I have seen in the last few years, SO refreshing to view a movie that isn't a cookie cutter production of everything else. A true art movie, as with all true art movies, some people just wont get it and feel the need to pan, but if you are in the group that appreciates this movie, then you are a creative artistic passionate soul!
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