Starring: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini
Directed by: Luca Gadagnino (“Melissa P.”)
Written by: Luca Gadagnino (“Melissa P.”)

Filmmaker Luca Gadagnino has such an elegant way of saying nothing in the film “I am Love,” an Italian melodrama that explores social status, family issues, and a little cuisine, but never goes anywhere meaningful as it flaps about in its art-house flare.

Starring Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton (“Michael Clayton”), “I am Love” follows an upper-class household from Milan who watches as their family dynamic changes after the death of their grandfather (Gabriele Ferzetti), who leaves the family business in the hands of both his son Tancredi (Pippo Delbono) and grandson Edoardo (Flavio Parenti). Swinton plays Emma, the mother caught in the middle, who begins to have an affair with her son’s friend Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini) as the family inches closer and closer to self destruction.

While beautifully shot through the snow-covered city of Milan, and with a fantastic classical score by composer John Adams, “I am Love” never builds momentum as it sort of floats to the finish line with little emotional pull. When the climax does happen, it is all laid on thickly and in a way that hardly matches the tone of the rest of the film. What we’re left with is a visually remarkable story that sits in the lap of luxury and isn’t bashful about tossing out empty metaphors.

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