Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)



Alright, lets talk about the latest from film-nerd favorite, Jim Jarmusch, and all of the reasons I really don’t like movies like this one. Shall we? Here’s the story :

A depressed musician reunites with his lover, though their romance – which has already endured several centuries – is disrupted by the arrival of uncontrollable younger sister.


Even that sounds pretentious.

First of all, spoiler alert, I’m reviewing this movie because its technically a horror movie. That’s right. They’re both vampires. Pompous, asinine, hipster vampires, but vampires all the same. Now, I will speak positively first. Both Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are pretty hard to turn away from. Though I found their characters to be pretty unlikable and unbearably pompous, no one is going to pretend like the two of them didn’t turn in pretty electric performances. Also, I’m not sure how but Tilda Swinton doesn’t appear to be aging even remotely. She is 54 years old, and basically could be an actual immortal vampire. She looks amazing, and Hiddleston is a dreamboat, so the movie does have those things going for it. We’re also treated to fine performances from the incredible John Hurt and from Anton Yelchin. So it’s not to say the movie is UNWATACHABLE trash, however, I really fucking hate movies like this one.


My problems with the movie are much more numerous than the things I liked about it. First of all, the story is pretty mild and uninteresting. I’m sure that’s because (as many would probably argue) the focus of the movie was “the characters maaaaaaaan” and their interactions being shitty hipster assholes. Even the way Hiddleston refers to human beings as zombies, while he mopes around his enormous mansion and has Yelchin bring him extremely expensive guitars, got under my skin. While Swinton’s character is entirely less objectionable, the two of them are really that couple that people gravitate to under the assumption that they somehow serve to elevate their ‘cool factor’. I really got the sense that if you had asked Adam (Hiddleston) his favorite band, he’s tell you that “you’ve never heard of them”.

Which brings me to the second thing, THEIR FUCKING NAMES ARE ADAM AND EVE. Oh, and the two of them are best friends with Christopher Marlowe. I’m assuming Shakespeare would have been a little bit too on the nose, eh Jarmusch? Those two things immediately got my eyes rolling, and really took me out of the whole movie to the point where, genuinely, I just didn’t give a shit.


The whole tone of this movie is pretentious and obnoxious, and really did nothing for me. I won’t sit here and lie and say that it isn’t well shot. Jarmusch is obviously a capable film maker, who makes movies that are competent. However, my desire to watch movies like this anymore, is basically nil. So, if this sounds like the kind of movie you want to watch then by all means go ahead. However, Jarmusch and his movies are really just not my thing, and this is no exception to that.

I found it pompous, and the characters unlikable.

So, that’s my take away from it.


Am I surprised at the positive response this movie is getting? No, no I’m not. I see this happen whenever a director with ‘indie cred’ makes a new movie. People seem to have a tendency to big themselves up by immediately fawning over whatever that director produces, regardless of the quality of the film. I saw it with Lars Von Trier’s last two projects, and I can’t imagine that this will ever change. The same way that we are pretty quick to hate movies made by Michael Bay, we are immediate to love films from directors like Jarmusch.

So, I really didn’t like it. If you did, good on ya.

All my complaints aside, Tilda Swinton is a magical goddess and is the one reason to sit through this movie. In my opinion.



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