Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as vampires in Only Lovers Left Alive.
“Gosh, Miss Method,” you say. “Is Jim Jarmusch’s new film, Only Lovers Left Alive, really as awesome as the trailers make it out to be?” After having waited FOREVER to see this flick (and me not an immortal), I can finally give you a verdict: yes, it is.
Lovers is a difficult film to describe without giving away the plot. Briefly, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is a reclusive musician living in Detroit whose increasing depression inspires his intellectual and more upbeat wife, Eve (Tilda Swinton), to fly in from Tangiers to visit him. Their reunion is interrupted by Eve’s wild younger sister, Ada (Mia Wasikowska), who turns up unexpectedly and things rapidly go downhill from there.
Jarmusch doesn’t dwell on the vampire lore aspects of his characters, but he does scatter intriguing little hints throughout the movie. His vampires seem very sensitive to touch (they all wear gloves) and Eve, especially, is able to sense how old an object is just by handling it. They seem able to communicate by dreams as Eve, Kit, and Adam all have dreams about Ada before she arrives. While they need blood to survive, the blood they drink must be pure. Contaminated blood can make them sick or kill them just as food poisoning does to humans. When necessary, they can move with lightning speed and while it considered polite to be invited in first, they can cross thresholds without harm. Although Adam and Eve are sophisticated artist types, they have a feral, dangerous edge to them.
The movie is artsy, but well-paced and intriguing with a building sense of suspense and a surprise ending. John Hurt co-stars as Christopher Marlowe (yes, that Kit Marlowe) and Anton Yelchin plays (Ian), Adam’s go-fer and fixer in Detroit. There’s also a very nice cameo by Lebanese singer, Yasmine Hamdan, whose songs appear on the film’s soundtrack.