I Am Love (Io Sono L’Amore) finally got its release in the UK and given that I’ve been hearing about the virtues of this film by Luca Guadagnino for months beforehand, it was possible that I could have been crestfallen upon seeing it.
Starring Tilda Swinton (who was also involved with the production and conception of the film…), this is a film set at the turn of the millennium in Milan which depicts an upper class family and follows Emma Recchi (played by Swinton) and her pressure to uphold a powerful dynasty and subsequently, her new found love and freedom via an affair with her son’s chef friend Antonio (played by Edoardo Gabbriellini). Ultimately, it’s about love lost and found as well as family values that is tied to wealth.
It is the aesthetics of this film that separates it from any other Lady Chatterley’s Lover-type storyline. Guadagnino, with the help of costume choices such as Recchi’s character being entirely dressed in Raf Simons’ Jil Sander clothes and production consulting from style figures such as Silvia Venturini Fendi (creative director for the accessories at Fendi), has created a sumptuous visual gorgefest where everything from the interiors of the Recchi house, the carefully shot Milanese backdrop, the clothes, the food cooked by Antonio and the characters themselves hold a raw and visceral kind of beauty.
Recchi’s character particularly resonated with me. Her life as a bourgeoisie housewife may have trapped her spiritually but her natural sense of style and taste conveyed, connecting, food, fashion and interiors made me wonder whether the three are intrinsically linked. If you love one, do you also take care in those other two areas? I’d like to think this is the case, just because it seems silly not to try and apply one’s taste levels to your surroundings and what you eat. I may not be able to consume all three to the highest of levels like Recchi but I can try with all my might.