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There seems to have been a deluge of vampire films over the past decade - from book adaptations to horror remakes, the bloodsucking brood of the night have been a staple feature of the silver screen. ‘Only lovers left alive’ is a whole lot more than just your average monster film however; it’s an exploration of humanity, what it is to be truly alive and director Jim Jarmusch’s tale is the most refreshing take on the genre in years.

Following the reclusive Adam and his relationship with the optimistic Eve, Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are sensational as the immortal duo. As Adam contemplates his own existence, Eve returns from her journey with 16th-century playwright Marlowe (an impeccable John Hurt) to rekindle his passion for life...only to encounter the unexpected arrival of her troublesome sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska).

But what of our leading protagonists I hear you ask? Needless to say that both Hiddleston and Swinton are truly phenomenal. Hiddleston’s deadpan dialogue delivery is both witty and poignant; delicious and tangible insights into the inner-psychology of this wonderfully complex character that steal the show throughout. Additionally Swinton’s Eve is magnificent and wise, the perfect match for Adam’s depressive personality. Her facial expressions and reactions could tell a thousand stories, as if Swinton herself had lived Eve’s immortal life. Her screen presence is the height of acting greatness - neither under or overplayed, but a most beautiful and captivating balance of naturalism in a fantastical world.

Supporting roles are also due credit. Wasikowska’s antagonistic Ava fulfills the archetypal vampiric role, whilst providing an extra layer of naivety towards her own abilities and a touch of genuine sweetness towards her reluctant hosts. Hurt’s Marlowe on the other hand may only appear occasionally, but his trademark rasping voice reinforces his wise reflections on life - whilst his reaction to Eva’s suggestion that he discard his favourite waistcoat is a brilliant comedic moment in an otherwise serious scene.

Apart from the superb cast, what really carries this film is the attention to detail within the dialogue. There are no action sequences and no fast paced chases. Instead the narrative is beautifully presented through reflections on an ever changing world, decorated with tasty morsels of references to classic gothic literature. My book-loving self practically beamed with delight at the mere name dropping of infamous author names and clever sign-points to well-loved characters.

It can be said that there are no words to describe ‘Only lovers left alive’ apart from captivating, beautiful and thought-provoking. Adam’s reflections on creativity left me feeling inspired long after the film had ended, which as a writer was one of the best feelings to take away from such a breathtaking piece of cinema. Absolutely magnificent.

    Sarah's posts By Sarah O' Hara



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