On a technical and superficial level, this movie is impressive. Tilda Swinton radiates from the screen and her fluent Italian and Russian (both languages she learned for this movie) is a wonder to behold. The direction of this movie is very good as well, the tone and pace changes depending on the locale of the on-goings. Unintrusive, bleak and almost dogma-like in the huge mansion and spherical, bright and experimental in the wild nature, and interesting meta-technique to convey meaning and concept to the audience. The movie takes more than one page out of the book of opera, from the soundtrack to the composition of key scenes, many aspects in the movie hold hands with the Italian tradition of Opera grandeur.
Yet, if you look closely, the movie has no interesting story and characters. There is almost no dialogue in the film. I do understand that some filmmakers tend to limit dialogue in order to create a bleakness and emptiness but in I am Love, the gap left by dialogues is not filled with the necessary despair, doubt or angst in order to make it interesting to behold. As mentioned before, Swinton is a goddess, but she casts are all-consuming shadow on the rest of the cast and the viewers is utterly uninterested in anything else but her. This would not be so bad, would the movie’s core idea not rely on the issue of Swinton’s alienation from her peers, an alienation, which, due to the one-sided distribution of focus and acting talent, is not thoroughly portrayed and discussed in the movie.
The director’s skill is beyond doubt and with a better script and premise, the future might hold a good movie in store for him.