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It’s the Pictures That Got Small: Luca Guadagnino’s “I Am Love”

It’s the Pictures That Got Small: Luca Guadagnino's "I Am Love"

Bold, declarative, and maybe a little silly, the title “I Am Love” is a perfect fit for the movie it crowns. When they first appear on the screen, the words—Io Sono L’Amore, in musical Italian—seem as tall as the skyscrapers of downtown Milan. They are written out in ornate hand, a hint of the lushness to come. The urgent strings of John Adams’s monumental score don’t just usher you into the movie —they all but yank you in.

Director Luca Guadagnino and star Tilda Swinton have been unabashed about their lofty aspirations. In interviews, they invoke a lost tradition of swoony, sweeping melodrama. Their nostalgia permeates every frame of I Am Love, but that hardly makes the movie musty. Read Elbert Ventura’s review of I Am Love.

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