Total Film | Only Lovers Left Alive Review


When Jim Jarmusch last made a film, 2009’s The Limits Of Control, his hipster cool looked at risk of freezing in its self-awareness. But though the indie vet’s new one brims with outsider chic, it’s a deliciously warm, witty spin on vampires and a rhapsodic love letter to art, music, dancing, love, dressing gowns... All that makes life worth living, even when you’re undead.

Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton nail it as centuries-old lovers Adam (sulky) and Eve (nurturing). They spend half the film slumped over bohemian furnishings, low with ennui or high on O-negative. But they slump playfully and beautifully, melting their sometimes icy fronts with twinkles of warmth.

Self-indulgent? To a point. But Jarmusch makes seductive work of it: the deep, dusty images, the hypnotic pacing. The in-jokes are cheeky rather than lofty, as is Jarmusch’s feather-light slant on genre staples. Blood is sustenance rather than sport to Adam and Eve, who don’t kill but obtain the red stuff via humane means.

A loving, very funny valentine to undead pleasures, with Swinton and Hiddleston on top form.

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