AWFJ Movie of the Week, April 7-11: ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE

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For this week’s pick, AWFJ Movie of the Week panelists found Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive to be deeply romantic, stylishly delicious, hilarious, gloriously photographed, sublime and a bitingly perfect fresh take on a worn out genre.

All that, plus superb performances by Tilda Swinton and Tim Hiddleston as stunningly humane vampire soul mates who face the extinction of their species due to the toxic contamination of their essential and no longer pure liquid of life. This brilliant film infuses the vampire genre with new life, however, and will surely last through the ages. Read on…

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Nikki BaughanJim Jarmusch’s vampire love story is a sublime watch thanks to outstanding performances from the perfectly paired Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton and the expert craftsmanship showcased in every element of the film, from the costumes to the production design, the cinematography to the soundtrack. Writer/director Jarmusch’s pin-sharp, intelligent and adult script is at once modern and ageless, and resurrects the vampire movie from its pubescent doldrums. An absolute must-see, and undoubtedly one of the films of the year. Full review.

Nell Minow: Jim Jarmusch’s most deeply romantic story happens to be about two vampires, but it is no Twilight and there are no sparkles, hot teenagers, or wolf men.  It is about the profound connections of those who are linked over the centuries, as the ephemeral world flickers and crumbles around them.  Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are marvelous and the world Jarmusch creates around them is beautifully realized.

Jennifer Merin: Jim Jarmusch’s vampire tale is humorous and stylishly delicious. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston star as immortal lovers whose comfortable centuries-enduring undead lifestyle is threatened as the harvested human blood they customarily sip from crystal goblets becomes increasingly hard to find due to contamination with disease and toxins. The film’s unusual, cleverly twisted perspective on the social issues that plague our species is a stake to the heart of contemporary human culture. Performance-wise, Swinton and Hiddleston nail it. A must see.

Pam Grady: Beneath Jim Jarmusch’s cool, hipster veneer beats the heart of a romantic and he proves it with Only Lovers Left Alive, a paean to the constancy of love wrapped in the tale of a vampire couple, soul mates for centuries. Horror nibbles at the edges for the ethereally beautiful twosome played by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, but what resonates in this gorgeously photographed drama is their unconditional devotion to one another.

MaryAnn Johnson: It’s a wonderfully *romantic* romance… one that happens to be about vampires. And it brings the romance back to the vampire story, too, which has been missing for a long time. Read review.

Kristy Puchko: Jim Jarmusch blends heady cool with vampire mystique to create a dark comedy that is equal parts moody and hilarious. Only Lovers Left Alive is beautifully constructed from its swooning cinematography, to its decadent art designs, and decayed Detroit location shoots. Plus Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as vampires in love are sheer, biting perfection. See Kristy Puchko’s full review.

Anne Brodie: Tilda Swinton brings phenomenal style and hypnotic presence to a vampire drama with an absolutely fresh take on a worn-out genre. Tom Hiddleston’s edgy and Detroit has never looked so haunted and there’s a spine chilling soundtrack. Its an experience.

Sara Vizcarrando: Don’t trust the title. Jim Jarmusch’s newest flight into the fantasies of a teen angst and anima follows the eternal love of Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton, who else?). Comfortable in Tangier when she hears her lover is in the dumps, Eve heroically runs to her man in Ghosttown, Detroit, where he’s carved a fascinating hermit-cum-rock-star life for himself. In a reclaimed house surrounded by impressively aged musical instruments, Adam has powered his home with an off the grid electrical system that could make geeks drool—and making geeks drool is kind of the point. Full review.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Rebecca Murray, Kristy Puchko, Carrie Rickey, Sheila Roberts, Jeanne Wolf, Sara Vizcarrando.

Other Movies Opening the Week of April 7-11, 2014:

April 11
– A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at the New York Times (NY)
– Cuban Fury (limited)
– Draft Day
– Hank and Asha (NY)
– Hateship Loveship (limited)
– Joe (limited)
– Kochadaiiyaan (limited)
– Oculus
– Only Lovers Left Alive (NY, LA)
– Perfect Sisters (NY, LA)
– The Railway Man (limited)
– Rio 2

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Sandra Kraisirideja (Archived Contributor) was started by entertainment journalist Sandra Kraisirideja, an accredited member of the Motion Picture Association of America. A 16-year industry veteran, her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Today,,,, North County Times, East Hampton Star and Southampton News-Press. Ms. Kraisirideja is listed in the (MPAA) Domestic Press Directory for 2009.