Vampires, right? Living forever must be like having a trust fund and all the best drugs and also you are a super model with an IQ of 170. How great would it be, hanging out with vampires? You would always know that, sure, maybe they could eat you. And they would probably be very self-obsessed and constant drama llamas. It would still be crazy cool, thinking vampires were your friends. It’s the same attitude that leads people to Grizzly Man situations. I think vampires are supposed to be a symbol of something other than bears or teenagers, but I don’t care, metaphors are not the boss of me.
Only Lovers Left Alive was directed by Jim Jarmusch. If you asked me at a cocktail party (aka house party for childless late twenty-somethings like me who like to buy expensive vodka and play dress up) what I thought of the film, I would coo “oh, but of course it was fabulous, I adore Jim Jarmusch films,” and then I would swill my French martini (note: I literally found out yesterday about French martinis) and I would wave at someone smoking a joint in the corner, squinting my eyes and pretending such person were Jake Gyllenhaal. Then I would lean in your ear and say, “oh but Jake Gyllenhaal, he thinks he is so Brooklyn, but he hasn’t made a real movie since Brokeback Mountain.” And you would reply, “uhm, you are gesturing at your seven foot tall stuffed giraffe…did you name your giraffe Jake Gyllenhaal?” And so on.
The truth is, I’ve only seen Coffee and Cigarettes, Broken Flowers and, now, Only Lovers Left Alive. It’s enough to know how cool this director is, though. Also, this movie is ridiculously rich and velvety and archly funny. In case you needed more convincing, Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston are the main characters, and they play sexy, immortal, beautiful vampires with hair like troll dolls. Their characters are named Eve and Adam, respectively. They have been alive for maybe always, according to their names. They are also super in love, though they live in different countries. Forever is a long time. Adam gets all existentially sad though, as I would imagine all beautiful vampires must be. Trapped for centuries in the dark, reading every book that exists. You can only play so much scrabble, and how many times can you re-watch the entirety of The Sopranos? Eve comes to visit him in his little man cave in Detroit (Adam is a musician and his character is a not too subtle nod to Jack White). The wasteland of Detroit is such perfect scenery; it makes you wish other people cared more about scenery.
The movie is also very funny at points, because vampires are ridiculous. Mia Wasikowska is especially great. She plays the naughty little sister vampire, all lace gloves and chaotic tantrums. Even John Hurt is there, playing a vampiric Christopher Marlowe, and looking believably 500 years old.
The movie is far too cool to trouble itself with much more plot than that. Basically, you spend most of the time learning about how old all the vampires are (not much of a spoiler: very, very old), and how troubling it is for them to watch humanity disappoint their artistic sensibilities. Like pollution is a bummer, but even more so because everyone’s blood tastes like shit. I will note that such line is straight out of True Blood. I don’t care though. It’s like looking up Tom Hiddleston’s twitter account: don’t let the details ruin the magic, you guys. Let the pretty people make you forget.
And also the soundtrack is the tits. ★★★★