I AM LOVE grows on you. In some respects it tells a straightforward story of love, family and infidelity. In others, it is oblique and enigmatic, like the Resnais and Antonioni films of the ’60s in that there seems always to be something vital but unspoken beyond the explicit plot, forever implicit, never stated or confirmed, be it about culture, about wealth, about sex, about love, about Italy.
Then there is the weather – rain, snow, sunshine, never remarked upon but as crucial to the moods of life and love as they are in the everyday. Luca Guadagnino‘s film seems to persist in the memory even as you are watching it, right to the final mystery, the strange image that we are left to explain for ourselves, or not.
Another recent film that has been compared to Antonioni, in particular to L’Avventura, is Maren Ade’s German-language EVERYONE ELSE. It is true that both Ade and Antonioni deal with a troubled relationship on a Mediterranean island, in this case Sardinia, but the comparison is off-base. EVERYONE ELSE doesn’t have the same sense of place or intensity of existential loss.
It would be better placed in the company of films from the Danish Dogma movement, with its engaged exploratory acting, low key plotting, and seeming use of found properties and undecorated locales. There is also a touch of the great Eric Rohmer in Ade’s sensibility, which sees value in observing human behavior closely and without judgment or forced explication. EVERYONE ELSE will not hold everyone’s attention, but it held mine.
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