This is a slight detour from the Week of Whedon. However, Tom Hiddleston was in The Avengers, so I feel like I can make it work. Last night I wandered down to Coolidge Corner, ate at Corrib House, and went to a late showing of Only Lovers Left Alive. This is the new film from Jim Jarmusch with Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston playing the titular lovers.
They play Adam and Eve, two vampires who have been alive and together for an unknown (but very very very long) time. The world has been thoroughly saturated in vampire love stories both in film and television, some with more merit than others. But the independent movie scene hasn’t really taken up the subject in a while, and Jim Jarmusch’s treatment of it is so different from the norm that missing it would be a crime.
Tida Swinton’s character, Eve, is everything I would want to be if I had eternal life. She has read and read and read everything over and over again. She can read in any language and can tell the age of any object merely by touching it. She understands the value of eternal life in a way that her husband, Adam, played by Tom Hiddleston, does not. The movie centers around Eve’s attempt to pull Adam back from a suicidal turn (one she blames on his time spent with Byron and Shelley). In doing that, she is able to make both him and the audience understand what kind of joy can be found in eternal life and eternal love.
Their love is really the heart of the movie (pun intended). They have the kind of marriage that I would want, and that my companions and I lauded over and over on the walk home. Centuries together produces a kind of intimacy that nothing else can really produce, and seeing that here is both sad and beautiful.
There is more in the way of plot than just looking in a window at their eternal love story, though to me that would have been enough to make this one of my new favorite movies. But Eve’s sister Ava is trouble and she finds Eve and Adam in Detroit, where Adam has converted a boarded-up house in the abandoned suburbs to an intricate music studio complete with rare and beautiful instruments that will make a music buff sigh. His record collection, too, will make this a movie for music lovers (as should Eve’s love of dancing to some great ones). Ava, played by Mia Wasikowska, is bratty and spoiled and has no self-control. As she is a vampire, that makes for a pretty terrifying and tense character. She takes a shine to the human Anton Yelchin and only trouble can ensue.
The movie has some really beautiful footage of a dark and abandoned-looking Detroit as well as an exotic and lovely Tangier, making those cities something of a third character in the story. Speaking of a third character, John Hurt as Christopher Marlowe is a fabulous addition. I know I am raving about this movie, but I can’t help it. It was my idea of perfection. There are so many reasons to go and see it. Tom Hiddleston is really reason enough, considering he is a fantastic, hilarious, and really attractive actor. But I hope this post has helped you find some other reasons too 🙂