For the past ten days, we have been counting down the Best Movies of 2014, and we have heaped praise on 20 Feet From Stardom, Blue Ruin, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Locke, 12 Years A Slave, Pride, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Starred Up and Lone Survivor…. And now we are at the number one movie.
Only Lovers Left Alive marked the return of writer and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch to the director's chair for the first time since The Limits of Control back in 2009, as he teamed up with Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton - who made a beautiful vampire film duo.
Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise but fragile outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them?
I know that the vampire genre has been rather a saturated one in recent years, but Only Lovers Left Alive is not like any other vampire movie that you have seen - believe me when I tell you that is thankfully not another instalment of the Twilight franchise. Even if you have become a little jaded with the vampire movie, Only Lovers Left Alive is one that you really cannot afford to miss, as it is a beguiling and stunning film that will resurrect your faith in this genre.
Forget what you know and have seen with other vampire movies as there is no garlic, coffins, silver, or stakes here, instead Jarmusch has delivered and off-beat and yet beautiful story that is about the power of love and the curse of immortality.
Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton take on the role of vampires Adam and Eve; they both cope with the modern world and immortal life in completely different ways. Hiddleston is terrific as Adam, the tortured artist who struggles to find place in the world outside his front door. Adam maybe a little sulky and self-indulgent, but Hiddleston never allows it to get to a point where this could become an annoyance.
Swinton is a real chameleon when it comes to acting, and she gives another great performance as Eve: a woman who has embraced her immortal life and an ever-changing world. She is satisfied with her place in it, and lives a full a life as possible. Hiddleston and Swinton are two of the most exciting around and there is something incredible seductive about them as an acting pair. There is a real chemistry between them and the banter that they share really does seem totally effortless.
It is these two actors and their on screen relationship that really does help make this movie what it is. There relationship, differences, and struggles really do pull you in, while there is something incredibly otherworldly and inhuman about them. They both have some great moments from start to finish, but it is the dancing in the living room scene that is just the most touching demonstration of love - it is one of the best movie moments of 2014.
Jarmusch really has taken the vampire genre and turned it on its head with Only Lovers Left Alive - I have to say, it is incredibly refreshing - instead of being the bloodthirsty killers that are so often portrayed, Adam are Eve as portrayed as ordinary people who have adapted to the changing times and get the blood they need without having to harm a human. It is such a refreshing take on this genre that it really does help make it one of the best vampire movies ever.
There is something deeply seductive and haunting about Only Lovers Left Alive, as Jarmusch put his unmistakable mark on this rather tired genre and breathes new life into it. This is one of those movies that you just are swept away in as it is just totally engrossing and there something that is quite old fashioned about it.
It is not often that we see low key indie vampire movies hit the big screen - they are usually action packed, run of the mill, clichéd blockbusters that never bring anything new to the genre - but this is dark, melancholy and sexy and I just loved it from the opening scene to the closing credits. An absolute must see if you are fans of Hiddleston and Swinton or want to have your faith in the vampire film genre restored.