I Am Love (2010) – Movie Review

Sarah Minion ('12) / Underground Editor

This summer, the movie scene includes a myriad of 3D children’s movies and mediocre comedies. However, Luca Guadagnino’s “I Am Love,” is clearly distinguishable from the rest of this summer’s average movie selection.

“I Am Love”, originally released last year in Italy and later released in American theaters on June 18 of 2010, is a dramatic Italian film that depicts the tale of the extremely wealthy Recchi family through a daringly beautiful sequence of trials of love and loyalty.

When the Recchi grandfather retires and passes his entire business down to his son Tancredi and grandson Edo, the lives of everyone in the family begin to change. With this inheritance, the two men also gain a sense of power and entitlement.  

Edo channels his time and money onto his close friend Antonio, a chef seeking to start his own restaurant where he can cook the way he wants. Antonio, played by Edoardo Gabbriellini, is a mysterious man of very few words. He begins to work for the Recchi family after which Tancredi’s wife, Emma, instantly falls in love with his cooking and soon Antonio himself.

Tilda Swinton plays Russian-born Emma, a mother who loves to cook and has acclimated to the extravagant lifestyle of Milan. Her unconditional love for her family is put to several tests throughout the film when she is forced to choose between her personal desires and those of her loved ones. Swinton learned Italian solely for “I Am Love” and gives a fantastic performance.

Filmed in Italy, the movie shows its audience a glimpse of some of the magnificent Italian architecture and breathtaking countryside landscapes. The incredible scenery creates a foreign ambience that sets the tone for the entire movie and the camera work truly captures the artistic beauty from all angles.  

The film contains incredible amounts of emotion but a portion of that meaning is lost through the necessity of subtitles. The subtitles at times fail to capture the true essence and feelings behind the words and although the plot is easy to follow, the film loses some of its grandeur.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino, “I Am Love” won two awards this year, one for Best Feature Film at the Boulder International Film Festival and one for Best Female Performance at the Dublin International Film Festival.

“I Am Love” is not the typical summer romance flick. It is instead, an intrepidly beautiful and honest work of art.