Overview: Director Jim Jarmusch gives viewers a brief glimpse of a vampire love affair that’s stood the test of time for centuries. 2014, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, rated R, 123 minutes.
Take Notes Twilight: During a time when it seems as if every possible vampire movie angle has been exhausted, in saunter Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton with their alabaster skin and lazy, effortless demeanor to breathe new life into the genre. But what is this one exactly? On the surface Only Lovers Left Alive is about two longtime lovers who view their existence in drastically different, yet equally fascinating ways. Adam (Hiddleston) is a reclusive musician, slightly reminiscent of a depressed, suicidal Vampire Lestat, and Eve (Swinton) is enthusiastic and worldly, eager to soak up every second of her immortal life. Only Lovers Left Alive manages to spend just over two hours being about everything and nothing at the same time. We’re simply following two people around who have shared a life together for centuries. We get to see a few chapters of a book that will never stop being written, and Jarmusch doesn’t bother with introductions or backstory, because he knows they wouldn’t bother with it either.
Adam and Eve: It doesn’t alter the way we’ve learned to see vampires. It enhances it. They’re sexy, dangerous, and sometimes still a little bit scary. The most unique thing about this movie is that is manages to exude the sex and the danger without ever really showing us any of it. This one of of the sexiest movies I’ve ever seen, yet it doesn’t actually contain any sex at all. It also maintains a sense of unease and dread without ever showing either character take a life. How is this possible with no sex and no violence?
The extent of this film’s appeal depends entirely on the chemistry and charisma of its stars. Swinton and Hiddleston make the perfect vampires, with their long, lean physiques and languid, sultry movements. Adam and Eve have never left the honeymoon phase, lounging around in bathrobes (if they put any clothes on at all). They’re equally enigmatic, constantly acting like they have a dirty little secret that will never escape the two of them. They almost never stop touching, and when they do it’s to suck down blood popsicles and exchange witty banter over a game of chess. We’re on the outside looking in on someone else’s neverending love story, and it’s nearly impossible to stop staring.