Back to IndieWire

Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive

Boredom has a new name: Only
Lovers Left Alive
. I find this distressing because, on the face of it, the
film is original and intriguing: Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston play vampires
who have been married for centuries. While they are passionately devoted to one
another they live in different parts of the world, for reasons unexplained: he
in an isolated house in burnt-out Detroit, she in an apartment in Tangier. While
these two gifted actors do everything they can to make their characters come to
life (pun intended), their travails—when separated or reunited—don’t add up to
the proverbial hill of beans.

Devotees of writer-director Jim Jarmusch may disagree with
me, as will others who find the mere setup of the film modish enough to satisfy
them. I certainly savored Marco Bittner Rosner’s stylish production design and enjoyed
the supporting performances of Anton Yelchin (as Hiddleston’s connection for
acquiring vintage guitars), Mia Wasikowska (as Swinton’s impulsive kid sister),
and John Hurt (as the couple’s old friend, and purveyor of “pure” blood,
Christopher Marlowe).

But the film’s languorous approach literally tired me out. Even
defenders of the picture will have to admit it doesn’t have much story to tell.
It may seek to address the notion of eternal love but it is also about ennui,
and I found myself succumbing to a series of yawns.

I’m tempted to pun again and call the movie bloodless. In
fact, I will.

This Article is related to: Reviews and tagged , , , , ,



Isn’t that the point? The romantic fantasy of having all the time in the world when the reality is that the characters end up living the same lives we do. Depression is a quiet character but one that I felt was well represented. Jarmusch offers a snap shot of their lives and that is the story. I’m sure the pacing is the real issue for many. The beauty of nothing happening is that every moment is on equal footing. The viewer is left to play observer which means they can either take stock of the details or stare off into space but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something there for those that actually look.


It sucks


Maybe this film is directed to those who need to "decompress." The concept of eternal love between vampires or creatures who are less than human speaks for itself…

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *