Monday, January 27, 2014

They can stop making vampire films now, because director Jim Jarmusch has made the ultimate one. Only Lovers Left Alive takes the vampire as poet, as rock star, as junkie, as morose philosopher, as doomed lover to a place of such absolute perfection that any further examination of the type seems a waste of time. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, and John Hurt, the movie was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Only Lovers Left Alive received positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 89% based on 19 reviews. Metacritic gave the film a rating of 75/100, based on 8 reviews.

Scott A. Gray of Exclaim! gave the film 8 out of 10, calling it "a visually poetic love story with a wry, jaded sense of humour about finding reasons to wake up every night." Calum Marsh of Slant Magazine gave it 3 out of 4 stars. Jonathan Romney of Screen International commented that it is Jarmusch's most poetic film since Dead Man. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter described the film as "the perennial downtown filmmaker's best work in many years, probably since 1995's Dead Man, with which it shares a sense of quiet, heady, perilous passage." On the other hand, Jonathan Hatfull of SciFiNow wrote that it is Jarmusch's best film since Ghost Dog.

Robbie Collin from The Daily Telegraph awarded the film 4 out of 5 stars and praised Swinton and Hiddleston's performances. "In the time-honoured Jarmuschian fashion, the few things that happen in Only Lovers Left Alive happen very slowly, but the dialogue is always gloomily amusing, and Swinton and Hiddleston's delivery of the gags is as cold and crisp as footsteps in fresh snow," he wrote. Jessica Kiang of IndieWire gave the film a B+ grade, saying, "the real pleasure of the film is in its languid droll cool and its romantic portrayal of the central couple, who are now our number one role models in the inevitable event of us turning vampiric." Tim Grierson of Paste noted that "Hiddleston and Swinton play their characters not as blasé hipsters but, rather, deeply reflective, almost regretful old souls who seem to have decided that love is about the only thing you can count on." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, pointing that Adam and Eve look more like "well-born incestuous siblings" in spite of being lovers.

Kurt Halfyard of Twitch Film in his positive review commented: "Retro recording equipment hasn't looked this claustrophobically sexy since Berberian Sound Studio." Alfred Joyner of International Business Times felt that "the melancholy that permeates Motown in the film could be seen as Jarmusch's take on the loss of America's greatness in the 21st century."

In April 2013, the film was added to the 2013 Cannes Film Festival in the competition section. It was then shown at multiple film festivals such as the September 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, four screenings at the September/October 2013 Reykjavík International Film Festival, and as an opening film for the 4th American Film Festival held in Wrocław. The film will be released in the United Kingdom on February 21, 2014, and it will be released in the United States in April 2014.

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