Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Starring Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt and Anton Yelchin
In UK Cinemas February 21st, 2014

by Ruth Thomson

In Only Lovers Left Alive, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, Adam and Eve are basically a pair of hipster vampires. And if you’re going to make  a movie about hipster vampires, who better to cast than Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, and where better to set it than the crumbling and decaying streets of downtown Detroit – with a hint of exotic Tangiers thrown in for good measure.

Adam (Hiddleston) is an angst ridden musician, bored of eternity, cheered only by the odd wistful memory like the time Schubert nicked some of his work. His days – sorry I mean nights – sitting around strumming his guitar are broken up only by visits to the local hospital for some dodgy dealings to keep him in a plentiful supply of thirst quenching blood. Sensing her spouse’s vampirical malaise Eve returns to him from Morocco (where her best buddy is Christopher Marlowe played by a particularly pasty looking John Hurt) to cheer him up with her new favourite thing – O Neg Ice Lollies. Their contented and weirdly touching domestic bliss is shattered only by the arrival of Eve’s bratty kid sister (Mia Wasikowska) who insists on a night out which ends badly for Adam’s friend Ian – note to self, never make out with a vampire.

The film is mellow, witty and dry – short on action but big on deadpan literary references and with some great lines – ‘it just goes to show we know shit all about fungi’ muses Adam to Eve in a particularly romantic moment. All the performances are great but Swinton is particularly striking – slipping through the night like some sort of frosty fashionista, but warmly effervescent and romantic in her love for Adam. At the heart of the film is their relationship, still strong and strangely moving after centuries together, and when their survival is under threat you can’t blame them for taking the necessary bloody action – no matter the cost. Just keep your eyes peeled the next time you’re out in Hoxton – there can be more to those hipsters than meets the eye.

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