ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
Snobbish Bohemian Vampires
Release Date: April 11, 2014
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton,
Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt,
Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 123 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics/Sony
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Jeremy Thomas, Reinhard
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Address Comments To:Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, Co-Presidents, Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com; Email: Sony_Classics@spe.sony.com
Inspired by a story written by Mark Twain, the movie focuses on two vampires, Adam and Eve, living thousands of miles away from one another in different parts of the world.
Adam has secluded himself in a large rundown house somewhere near the outskirts of a rundown Detroit. Adam buys special purified human blood from a hospital doctor in town. A musician who creates alternative rock music that he keeps to himself, Adam also buys valuable antique guitars on the black market from a young human named Ian.
Eve is living in Tangier in Morocco. There, she hobnobs with an elderly vampire who apparently is the real Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan playwright whom the movie considers to be the real writer behind Shakespeare. Himself a vampire, Marlowe supplies Eve with the purified human blood she needs to survive.
No longer able to live without her, Adam urgently summons Eve to Detroit. In between bouts of sex, erudite conversations about history and art and science, and intoxicating sips of purified human blood, Adam and Eve renew their centuries old bonds of love. However, their idyll is suddenly interrupted by a visit from Eve’s wild, careless, annoying, and selfish younger sister, Ava.
Ava’s visit leads to the movie’s big plot question: Can Adam and Eve continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them?
Once again, Writer/Director Jim Jarmusch avoids story and plot conventions to focus on character, atmosphere, and ideas. However, while the characters and atmosphere may be interesting because they are rather unique and striking, the ideas just seem to offer viewers a kind of hollow hubristic humanism. These vampires, especially the two lead vampires and, of the two, especially Adam, are humanist snobs. Thus, several times during the movie, Adam offers self-righteous, condescending commentary on Hollywood, popular culture, human stupidity (other people’s, never his own), religion, and science. Only he and Eve, and their friend, Marlowe, have the right ideas, taste, intelligence, and knowledge. Of course, this kind of humanist hubris usually, if not always, comes from the Left. So, in a way, there’s a Marxist, communist subtext to ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, but, admittedly, this point is debatable. The movie does seem to excoriate Christianity and promote Darwinistic evolution in a couple lines of dialogue, however. So, there’s a strong politically correct tone to the movie’s condescendingly humanist worldview. ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE also contains an excessive, gratuitous amount of foul language, including an overuse of “f” words, as well as brief nudity.
Artistically and cinematically, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE ultimately is a failure, though perhaps an interesting failure. Finally, its humanist worldview is more annoying, especially for its pseudo-intellectual snobbery, than it is extremely offensive. So, MOVIEGUIDE® gives the movie Two Stars and rates it a Minus Three.
Once again, Writer/Director Jim Jarmusch avoids story and plot conventions to focus on character, atmosphere, and ideas. However, while the characters and atmosphere may be interesting because they are rather unique and striking, the ideas just seem to offer viewers a kind of hollow humanism. These vampires are humanist snobs. Artistically, ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE ultimately is a failure, though perhaps an interesting failure. Also, its humanist worldview is annoyingly self-righteous, elitist and politically correct, with lots of strong foul language.