Jan 17, 2011

I Am Love (2009)

If you haven't already seen "I Am Love", (or, as I was referring to it when it was first released, when I knew everyone wanted to see it because we all love its star, Tilda Swinton, "I Am Tilda Swinton"), you must put this movie on your Netflix list. It's not especially deep, but it sure is pretty. It helps that the stroy revolves around a very, very wealthy and urbane family in contemporary Milan. But it's shot so beautifully, with a mesmerizing camera gliding across polished marble floors, and sun-filled, high-ceilinged rooms with damask upholstery and enormous arrangements of fresh flowers. And Tilda is so great looking as a blithely and extremely well dressed matron crossing through huge moulded door frames down endless corridors.

As the story is about redemption (and loss) by means of cooking, various kitchens feature prominently in the plot. In scenes that define the life of cossetted wife Tilda, liveried servants move effortlessly through a suites of rooms between dining room and kitchen proper. From the bright, cool tiled rooms of the inner workspace with stainless steel appliances, milky porcelain cabinets and marble counters, to increasingly warmer hued wood paneled prep-rooms and plating rooms, through tall-windowed corridors whose chief function seems to be to be photographed, to an exquisitely arranged dining room, the tightly wound order of life is made at once enviable and cold.

Eventually, enlightenment (and love) come in the form of a young chef whose own home's bohemian kitchen, shown only from a single, still (and yet comprehensive) camera viewpoint, stands in marked contrast. Mottled and worn, the ad-hoc assemblage shows what life looks like when you invest your soul in your craft, (and your craft in your mate.)

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