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I Am Love – rm – This Italian film with English subtitles is unusual in several respects. It is beautifully photographed with each frame seemingly magnificently painted. Director and screenwriter Luca Guadagnino takes his time in setting the scene. The film maker seems to respect the audience to be able to understand very subtle points throughout the movie. The story also takes on a sexual relationship which we usually do not see depicted on the screen. The movie is a modern film set Milan, Italy where we are introduced to a wealthy family who live in a grandiose home with servants who are an important part of their everyday life. We meet the family during a leisurely birthday party for the grandfather patriarch who announces he is turning over the industrial manufacturing company to his son and oldest grandson. We also meet the grandmother, wife of the son who is a transplant from Russia, and their three grown children (two boys and a girl). Early in the story we see the fleeting attraction of the wife to her son’s close friend who is planning to open a beautiful restaurant in the countryside with him. Perhaps more likely in Europe than in the US, this quickly develops into a passionate sexual relationship without us seeing any other reason for them to be drawn to each other. Their hidden liaison continues and we also learn of another secret relationship which the daughter reveals. Food is also a player in this movie as it adds to sensory pleasures which are being depicted. There is much passion and beautifully photographed sexual encounters, tension and fear of discovery and then a tragic confrontation. Tilda Swinton who plays the wife is superb as she creates this sexually obsessed woman who also demonstrated some of the most painful emotions a person might ever feel. 2010
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