MOVIE REVIEW: Only Lovers Left Alive

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Only Lovers Left Alive
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Only Lovers Left Alive is the new genre-bending vampire drama from director Jim Jarmusch.  Jarmusch is considered by most as a true auteur.  His filmography includes such titles as Dead Man, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and Broken Flowers.  Only Lovers Left Alive was included in the Main Competition program at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, which in my opinion is a very big deal.  Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston headline the film with Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright, and Anton Yelchin supporting.  The film has since played at multiple film festivals and had a limited release on April 11. Adam (Hiddleston) is a vampire who has been living for centuries as an accomplished musician and has influenced the careers of many famous musicians throughout history.  He is now living in a run-down house in a deserted area of Detroit.  He has become bored with life and is even contemplating suicide because he feels humanity is doomed.  He survives by purchasing blood illegally at a local blood-bank without any questions from the doctor.  One night as he has his gun to his chest, he receives a video phone call from his wife, Eve (Swinton).  Eve has been living in Tangier for a number of years and gets her blood from a local vampire friend.  Adam and Eve are still madly in love with one another even though they’ve been living apart.  Eve senses something is wrong with Adam, so she flies to Detroit to be with him.  Life is great when they are together as they dance, play chess, and even enjoy blood popsicles.  A problem arises when Eve’s sister Ava (Wasikowska) pays them a visit.  She seems to have an insatiable thirst for blood and makes a big mistake one night forcing Adam and Eve to flee from Detroit.  Back in Tangier, the lovers are running out of options and might have to go to extremes in order to survive. Considering that Only Lovers Left Alive had its world premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and also played at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, I was fully expecting to love it.  The thing I could have never guessed was how slow it was going to be.  It is a well-made film with great acting and a spot-on soundtrack, but so much of the movie just drags on and not much ever really happens.  I’m sure that is point of the film, but at the same time it does get a bit too dull.  It’s not a terrible movie by any stretch, but I just wanted it to be more.  The film has a very cool vibe about it with the dark sets and the dark music and the cast is really great.  I find Tilda Swinton completely fascinating and can’t take my eyes off of her when she’s on-screen.  She’s so unusual and mysterious.  Then there is Tom Hiddleston, who is most well known for playing Loki from The Avengers, who plays his part to perfection.  There are definitely some good take-aways from Only Lovers Left Alive, but overall there’s just not enough for me to recommend it.  If you’re into the art house scene, it is worth seeing, but you might want to wait for it to hit DVD. Grade:  C Only Lovers Left Alive opens at the Landmark Keystone Art Theater in Indianapolis on Friday, May 9.

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