Io sono l'amore (I Am Love). 2009. Italy. Directed by Luca Guadagnino. Screenplay by Guadagnino, Barbara Alberti, Ivan Cotroneo, Walter Fasano. With Tilda Swinton, Alba Rohrwacher, Flavio Parenti. 35mm. 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.