I Am Love


Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    In every sense, I Am Love is a stunning achievement.
  2. 100
    I Am Love fuses the past with the changing future in a marvelous traditional narrative without a shred of the sloppy trends of contemporary filmmaking.
  3. 100
    When Guadagnino focuses solely on the primal, the effect is spellbinding. Only the words get in the way.
  4. 100
    An amazing film. It is deep, rich, human. It is not about rich and poor, but about old and new. It is about the ancient war between tradition and feeling.
  5. Often soaringly beautiful melodrama.
  6. 90
    The movie that we do have is cogent, lavish, and formidable enough, with a Recchi-like power to frighten and seduce.
  7. 90
    The grand architecture of Milan and the icy rhythms of composer John Adams set the tone for this elegant Italian drama about the suffocating power of family, wealth, and tradition.
  8. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    If nothing else, it's an eye-boggling two hours at the movies and a must for Swinton completists fascinated by her recent turn toward operatic roles in odd, unmarketable films like this one and last year's Julia. She's becoming the Maria Callas of international cinema.
  9. 88
    I Am Love is a bold and thrilling masterpiece -- the introduction of a major talent to the world's stage.
  10. I Am Love makes no apologies for its style. None needed: The film, a two-hour swoon, is a cry for romantic freedom, perched on the edge of self-parody, as all good melodramas are.
  11. It is not to everyone's taste. But if you like the lush film operas of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Douglas Sirk, or Luchino Visconti, this one's for you.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    If you're not in the mood, the whole thing will probably seem pretty silly. But if you are -- oh, if you are -- I Am Love may be the richest, tastiest truffle you're likely to savor all summer.
  13. 88
    I Am Love is a cinematic orgy, a sensual Italian feast of food, sex, guilt and grief. An intimate, quiet and even slow movie, its subtle shadings veil turbulent emotions.
  14. 83
    What keeps the story fresh isn't so much Guadagnino's swooning sense-reveries, which sometimes flow with dreamlike wonder and sometimes just drag; instead, most of the power comes from Swinton, who always makes the most of characters imbued by passion, but straitjacketed by expectations.
  15. An ambitious film, and Guadagnino deserves praise for the risks he takes here.
  16. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    A stately, rich and moving Italian melodrama in the spirit of Visconti.
  17. Director Luca Guadagnino is having so much fun setting up the Kubrickian chill (even Barry Lyndon's Marisa Berenson is on hand) that when Emma and the much younger Antonio finally come together in warming Sanremo, their tryst almost sneaks up on you.
  18. 80
    Bold, weird, and a little stalkerish in its intensity, Luca Guadagnino's third feature is an open cinematic buffet, as ready to satisfy as it is to displease, depending on your taste and appetite.
  19. Swinton is one of the finest actresses working in contemporary cinema, but Guadagnino, who developed the project with her in mind, has created a film that literally luxuriates in her talents.
  20. Though it's Swinton who grounds the film, Guadagnino is really telling the story of an entire family and their unquestioned way of life.
  21. This intense and almost operatic Italian family melodrama recalls the best of Douglas Sirk.
  22. 80
    You can read Emma's affair and its eventual effect on Edoardo as an inverted oedipal thing, or perhaps as a metaphor for decadence, the embodiment of a family that subconsciously realizes it's in decline and must fight to warm its blood.
  23. 78
    A fearless sort of melodramaticism that might have seemed silly if it weren't for the impeccable EVERYTHING on display here, from the lush, sexy camerawork of director of photography Yorick Le Saux (Swimming Pool) to the throbbing, atavistic score by John Adams. It's not silly or, at least, rarely so, and Swinton's nuanced, aching performance is downright revelatory.
  24. 75
    My admiration for I Am Love is higher than my appreciation, and its appeal will be limited to an exclusive audience.
  25. 75
    As a full-on celebration of beauty in all its forms, this gem of a contemporary melodrama invites viewers to plunge into a world of unerring taste and luxury, where even tragedy comes softly when it inevitably arrives.
  26. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Despite the contrived climax, I Am Love has emotional power. The contrast between duty and passion is well-drawn, and Swinton's transition from winter matriarch to springtime lover is compelling, even if the circumstances are implausible.
  27. I Am Love is easy to savor but tough to swallow.
  28. The film is almost deliriously stylish, which helps mask the silliness. But the bellowing music, by John Adams, is infuriatingly intrusive -- which undoes the visual good.
  29. 50
    As things pick up in the second half, the splendid photography and tempestuous John Adams score cannot quite conceal that the film is uncomfortably close to being an extravagantly elongated, Fendi-clad episode of "Dynasty."
  30. I Am Love casts no spell and creates no narrative urgency. It's as compelling as mildly interesting gossip about people you don't know.
  31. Despite a superb cast and a fabulous look, the picture collapses under the weight of its lofty pretensions, especially in the black hole of the last act, where it topples into near-absurdity.
  32. 42
    Here the homages/critiques of old craft and form are often laughably mangled, and nothing sexy, profound or illuminating results. For all its prettiness, it's the sort of picture that gives the arthouse a bad name.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Mar 27, 2011
    Exquisite film. Every frame is full of beauty and meaning, so that you feel completely enraptured in it. This film is deeply sensual, veryExquisite film. Every frame is full of beauty and meaning, so that you feel completely enraptured in it. This film is deeply sensual, very beautiful and quite moving. It does suffer from a melodramatic ending, slightly hampering the whole experience, but on the whole a captivating piece of art with a grand performance from Tilda Swinton. Full Review »
  2. Lyn
    Feb 26, 2011
    I found this beautiful film sorely lacking in both heart and logic -- despite the presence of Tilda Swinton, of whom I've been a huge fanI found this beautiful film sorely lacking in both heart and logic -- despite the presence of Tilda Swinton, of whom I've been a huge fan since the riveting "The Deep End." (Those angles! That lanky grace! That mysterious eyebrowless face!) The languid pace never seems to lead anywhere, nor is there much of a clue as to why this woman would risk everything for a mashup with this particular young man. Weirdly, I felt shadows of several really good films, including "Unfaithful," "Damage" and even the Italian epic "Best of Youth." But somehow it managed to be less intense, and more tedious, than any of those. Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2010
    All expectations dissolve as you watch I am love. The magnificent production design and set decoration pale to the miscast of Ms. Swinton'sAll expectations dissolve as you watch I am love. The magnificent production design and set decoration pale to the miscast of Ms. Swinton's lover. She is obviously the anchor and rhythm of the film, yet not even her regal portrail, exquisite costumes and all around production can save the distraught taste of a film you will not love even if the trailer says so. The rest of the cast is more than ok, yet overall it doesn't make it. Full Review »