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MaddWolf
Movie Reviews, DVD Picks, Shenanigans

Vampires Done Right

Vampires Done Right

 

Only Lovers Left Alive

by George Wolf

 

Vampires again! Can’t we just give it a rest already?

I hear ya, but before you write them off completely, let Only Lovers Left Alive renew your faith in the genre’s possibilities.

Leave it to visionary writer/director Jim Jarmusch to concoct the perfect antidote to the pop culture onslaught of romantic teenage blood drinkers. OLLA is a delicious black comedy, oozing with sharp wit and hipster attitude.

Great lead performances don’t hurt, either, and Jarmusch gets them from Tom Hilddleston and Tilda Swinton as Adam and Eve (perfect!), a vampire couple rekindling their centuries-old romance against the picturesque backdrop of…Detroit.

I’m not going to lie, they had me at Swinton/Hiddleston/Jarmusch/vampires, but it’s such a treat to find the end result only exceeds expectations.

Not since the David Bowie/Catherine Deneuve pairing in The Hunger has there been such perfectly vampiric casting. Swinton and Hiddleston, already two of the most consistently excellent actors around, deliver cooly detached, underplayed performances, wearing the world- weariness of their characters in uniquely contrasting ways.

The less you know about the lifestyles of Adam and Eve, the better, and the plot consists mainly of consequences from a surprise visit by Eve’s sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska). But Jarmusch, as he often does, creates a setting that is totally engrossing, full of fluid beauty and wicked humor. 

His camera lingers in dark corners and high ceilings, swimming in waves of sublime production design, evocative music and mood lighting that is subtle perfection.  This is a master class in style and atmosphere, conjuring up a dark world you’re just geeked to spend time in.

There is substance to accent all the style. The film moseys toward its perfect finale, casually waxing Goth philosophic about soul mates and finding your joy.

Ironically, Jarmusch treats the possibility of nightwalkers among us more realistically than any vampire flick in recent memory. And in the process, has some wry fun with how the whole thing went south.

Talk about finding our joy.

Vampires are back, baby, and Edward can suck it.

 

Verdict-4-0-Stars

 

 

Written by maddwolf

5 Comments

  1. Jason King · May 17, 2014

    Great review George – we are in complete agreement – truly loved this film.
    Thanks for reading the Salty Popcorn review and now I shall totally and unashamedly spam it in the hope that 3248907109875198 people that read your site pop in to visit mine haha

    http://saltypopcorn.com.au/reviews/only-lovers-left-alive/

    Have a good one :)

  2. maddwolf · May 20, 2014

    Thanks, Jason!

  3. Countdown: Too soon? The Ten Best Films of 2014! | MaddWolf · June 23, 2014

    […] joins Tom Hiddleston (not too shabby himself) as Eve and Adam, vampires hanging around Detroit. Only Lovers Left Alive is a well thought out film, a unique twist on the old tale, filled with dry humor, exquisite […]

  4. Too Soon? The 10 Best Movies of 2014 | Rewind 103.5/104.3 – WNND · June 23, 2014

    […] joins Tom Hiddleston (not too shabby himself) as Eve and Adam, vampires hanging around Detroit. Only Lovers Left Alive is a well thought out film, a unique twist on the old tale, filled with dry humor, exquisite […]

  5. Vampires and Ghosts For Your Queue | MaddWolf · August 19, 2014

    […] joins Tom Hiddleston (not too shabby himself) as Eve and Adam, vampires hanging around Detroit. Only Lovers Left Alive is a well thought-out film, a unique twist on the old tale, filled with dry humor, exquisite […]

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