July 10, 2010
The Kids Are All Right vs. I Am Love
I happened to see two movies yesterday that had so many things in common they were like companion pieces for each other. I Am Love is a gorgeously stylized melodrama about a wealthy northern Italian family. It's by Luca Guadagnino and stars Tilda Swinton, who solidifies her status as one of greatest actresses of all time by showing once again that she can do absolutely anything, including speak Italian with a Russian accent. The Kids Are All Right is the third movie written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko, and it's my favorite. The movie's about a family headed by two moms whose lives are turned upside-down by the introduction of their kids to their sperm donor, the gaspingly sexy Mark Ruffalo.
They were both great. I won't give anything big away here, but let me list some of the things both of these movies prominently feature:
- Lots of naked not-exactly-young flesh
- The irresistible seductiveness of hot organic farmer-chefs
- Mia Wasikowska and Alba Rohrwacher, who each play the protagonists' daughters and look uncannily alike:
- And one scene in each movie that is seriously identical. I won't reveal it, but the lesson of the scene in both movies is that certain people should really be more careful about where they leave snippets of their hair.
One movie will probably provoke a strong desire to be rich and Italian, the other to be rich and Californian, and both could inspire you to have crazy illicit sex in a beautiful, lush botanical setting.
And both have awesome soundtracks. The Kids Are All Right is all old Bowie and contemporary cool stuff like Fever Ray and Deerhoof, and I Am Love has swooningly romantic and gorgeous music by composer John Adams (apparently this is the first time he's allowed his music to be used in a movie.)
The two movies finally diverge in their endings and overall attitudes about family life and domesticity vs. passion. But both are some of the best things I've seen yet this year.
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