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I Am Love


Stars: Tilda Swinton, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Flavio Parenti, Pippo Delbono, Marisa Berenson, Gabriele Ferzetti, Diane Fleri

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Long, heavy, very Italian story of a mega-rich family, the mother of which (Swinton, impressively fluent in Italian) develops a not readily understandable passion for the slight, bearded partner (Gabriellini) of her son, Edo (Parenti), who apparently seduces her with the help of prawn risotto with ratatouille. Must try that sometime.

Then there's the matter of her daughter coming out as a lesbian, while her husband and older son decide to sell the family business, to the disgust of Edo, although the latter presumably has his restaurant to fall back on.

Cue naked sex during a bucolic idyll in the Tuscan sunshine - 'their bodies entwine amongst the flowers' gushes the synopsis - and a tragedy that doesn't quite come from the direction you expect. Crashing music at key moments leads you to think the composer imagines he's underscoring - or blighting - a masterpiece. Performances are suitably edgy and intense.

David Quinlan

Italy 2009. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Fujicolor.
119 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 06 Apr 2010