Out of all the films at NYFF this year, I was determined to see Only Lovers Left Alive. I love Tilda Swinton and I have grown to like Tom Hiddleston. And they were in a vampire movie that didn’t involve teenage angst and glitter? No brainer! I couldn’t make the press screening for this, but did manage to grab a ticket to one of the showings later on that week.
This film isn’t long, but it may feel like it is based on long scenes of instrumental swells and dialogue. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, just be prepared to check your watch on occasion. Granted, this may be, because I was running on 5 hours of sleep and just walked out of seeing HER.
However, Only Lovers Left Alive was not what I expected. The humor surprised me greatly and drew me in off the bat. Playing the antithesis of each other, Adam (Hiddleston) is a somber, rock musician, who is growing tired of the world around him. The word “emo” is so played out, but in this case it describes Adam to a “T.” Then there is Eve (Swinton) all in white, who still sees the beauty in life and tries to draw Adam from his hole of depression.
There is no real plot to the movie. There are several conflicts that arise, but overall it’s sort of a slice of life piece. You follow these cool, sexy vampire couple around Detroit as they try to deal with the constantly changing world. It’s a very beautiful looking film as well. It captures that Dracula Gothicism while incorporating some elements of rock n'roll. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton have a very nice chemistry. There is a sweetness between them that is so intriguing, and you get the sense that that the actors themselves are quite fond of each other. This film will probably have a mixed response, but if you’re a fan of old gothic vampire tales then this will wet your appetite.