Film Review – Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

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Title – Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Director – Jim Jarmusch (Dead Man)

Cast – Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright, John Hurt

Plot – Vampires and husband and wife Adam (Hiddleston) and Eve (Swinton) are reunited in the depressed city of Detroit where the re-emergence of Eve’s sister Ava (Wasikowska) and Adam’s dealings with kindly “zombie” friend Ian (Yelchin) throws there mundane life a few curveballs.

“I like to come to the source. Besides, the mutual jeopardy makes me feel safer”

Review by Eddie on 10/12/2014

Just when you think the Vampire genre of films is about to take a well-deserved (or perhaps not so well-deserved in the case of Twilight) break out comes another vampire tale in the form of Only Lovers Left Alive but thankfully this little oddity is highly unlike any other vampire tale you’ve likely scene thanks to its sombre and macabre tone and some downplayed yet very watchable lead performances from everyone’s favourite superhero nasty Tom Hiddleston and the ever ghostly white Tilda Swinton.

Much of the films unique tone can be attributed to the fact that indie weirdo and polarising director Jim Jarmusch is at the helm which virtually signposts this film as a warning to anyone who does not attest to his non-conforming style of direction and narrative. Lovers is for all intents and purposes is just as strange as Jarmusch’s other films and the tone of the piece is one that refuses to really move anywhere in any form of fast manner but that is part of its gentle charms. When one has been alive for thousands of years, it would be safe to assume that you feel no need to really do much or do it in good time and that’s exactly what Jarmusch seems to be aiming for here with his immortal protagonists Adam and Eve.

Creating one of the years more memorable and unique couples, Hiddleston shines most as depressed music loving vamp Adam whose long term wife Eve played by Swinton comes to cheer him up in the dour surrounds of the no longer bustling Detroit cityscape. Interplay between Adam and Eve can at times be downright funny, other times downright depressing but it’s unquestionable that their long going relationship is believable and likeable above all else and the presence of supports in the form of Mia Wasikowska as Eve’s over joyous sister Ava and Anton Yelchin as Adam’s help/friend Ian provide the film with much needed energy when things become a little to bloodless for its own good.

A slight film and a film that seems unconcerned with amounting to a whole lot, Only Lovers Left Alive is made recommendable thanks to its leads, it’s supports and it’s at times insightful look into the frequently explored world of vampires. Absolutely not for everybody, this is a film that many will mark down as one of their yearly favourites while others mark it down as one of the years hardest watches, for everyone else they will be solely on the fence not accepting an invite to either threshold.

3 blood popsicles out of 5

20 responses to “Film Review – Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

  1. Great review. As someone who watches almost everything having to do with vampires, I wish I had liked this film more. The acting was great and it was a “realistic” look at the lives of vampires. But pardon the pun, the pacing was just so anemic. That said,if anyone was ever born to play a vampire, it’s Tilda Swinton 🙂

  2. Nice review! True, I like the blood popsicle stuffs, so original and compelling!
    Well, things barely happen in the movie, but when something happen, wasn’t it adorable? I love this one! (and Mia Wasikowska)

  3. Loved this movie. About an hour in I realized I was absorbed and totally lost track of time, which makes me seem un-absorbed now but I was into it. It felt fresh for a vampire movie. Somehow seeing this other side, the slow & mundane, was interesting and believable. Beautifully shot too. I think I’ll enjoy it even more on a second watch, maybe a year from now. Superb casting. Great review!

  4. As “film” Only Lovers Left Alive is a masterpiece. Jarmusch does for night photography here what he did for black and white photography in Stranger than Paradise.

  5. Pingback: Film Review – I Saw the Light (2015) | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

  6. Pingback: Film Review – The Dead Don’t Die (2019) | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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