Only Lovers Left Alive Will Slowly Slay You
I wanted to write this review without mentioning Twilight, but I blew it with the title, didn't I? That's okay. It would be dumb to recommend a new vampire flick without acknowledging that the genre has been fucking terrible in recent years. We agreed not so long ago as film-going people that vampires were over. Luckily, Jim Jarmusch didn't get the memo, and Only Lovers Left Alive is totally different, weird, and fantastic.
I wasn't buying it initially, though. The first 20 minutes are so painfully self-serious that I regretted having accepted the gig. The titular lovers, dumbly named Adam and Eve (Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton), are longhaired rock-and-roll vampires separated by thousands of miles, but no less in love than they have been for centuries. Eve decides to travel from her tapestry-rich home in Tangiers to visit Adam in gloomy, abandoned Detroit, where he is a reclusive musician. Once reunited, the two settle into quiet vampire domesticity, sleeping through the day, gardening, drinking blood—you know, vampire stuff. Aside from a little family drama, they're a pretty boring couple, and it was a pretty boring movie.
Then all of a sudden, it wasn't boring at all.
Only Lovers Left Alive is delicate to the point of fragility. The suspense creeps up on you as you wonder if it all will turn to dust. Amazingly, it never does, and the result is gorgeous and even kind of fun. Hiddleston and Swinton were made for their roles. They have a stunning chemistry that had me fully convinced they are actually ancient mythical beings who have been in love for hundreds of years—and once our idiotic and corrupted modern society crashes to the ground (and those Twilight kids are rightfully forgotten), they and their perfect bone structure will rule over the universe. And it will be good.