Io sono l’amore (I Am Love). 2009. Italy. Directed by Luca Guadagnino. Screenplay by Guadagnino, Barbara Alberti, Ivan Cotroneo, Walter Fasano. With Alba Rohrwacher, Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti. DCP. In Italian; English subtitles. 120 min.
Despite its many knowing nods to Visconti, Antonioni, and Kubrick, Luca Guadagnino’s drama of female sexual liberation perhaps owes its greatest debt to D. H. Lawrence. A Russian arriviste (Tilda Swinton) marries into the Recchi family, an old-world dynasty of Lombard industrialists, and embarks on a tempestuous affair that threatens to bring them down; as her lesbian artist daughter, Alba Rohrwacher also disturbs the illusion of domestic bliss. The Recchis make up in exquisite décor what they lack in feeling; among Guadagnino’s many inspired conceits is his use of Piero Portaluppi’s Villa Necchi Campiglio, a sumptuously austere masterpiece of fascist rationalism, as a central character. Courtesy Istituto Luce Cinecittà and Magnolia Pictures