A slowly moving film, yet delectable in each movement, I Am Love is about love in the many ways that it runs through the lives of an Italian family in Milan.
A slowly moving film, yet delectable in each movement, I Am Love is about love in the many ways that it runs through the lives of an Italian family in Milan. At times it is shocking, at others slow, or peaceful. Yet the pace is not just about time but also tone. I Am Love does not focus on anything fast; it is constructed piece by piece to an abrupt finale. The conversations and moments seem ordinary, yet that is what makes the pace of the film work: it is imitating life.
The lives effected are those of the Recchi family, beginning at the birthday dinner for the aging Eduardo, where he announces that the family textile business will be passed down to his son, Tancredi, and his grandson, Edo. While the dinner is in progress, a young chef, Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), who beat Edo in a race earlier that day, visits with a cake he has made as a concillation price. Edo introduces his mother Emma (Tilda Swinton) to Antonio, in what appears to be a normal encounter. After Edo falls in love with Antonio’s cooking they plan to open a restaurant together, and meetings between Antionio and Emma becoming more frequent until they see each other in the street in Sanremo and fall in love.
There is a link of perfection in I Am Love, from the initial scenes of setting a table, to food preparation, to houses as scenic as museums – and possibly with collections to match. Everything appears perfect, and perhaps that’s why it’s not easy to sympathise or understand Emma, yet her world is also a stifling one, and its slow suffocation is what motivates her right to the end.
The film is visually powerful, the lighting borders on whimsical, and the score by John Adams is unsettling. I Am Love is a film that focuses on how the simple pleasures increase, however slowly, to dangerous and threatening ones.