The Review: Love is a complex creature. As Ewan MacGregor put it in Moulin Rouge, “Love is a many splendoured thing! Love lifts us up where we belong! All you need is love!” This gentle and flowing movie takes us on a journey through many of the aspects of love, and what it means to a group of characters based around a wealthy Italian family.
A film to let wash over you for the most part, rather than one to reach out and grab you, the sumptuous cinematography and melodramatic score serve to create an atmosphere which genuinely feels like taking an Italian holiday to watch lovers in the first flush of courtship.
Tilda Swinton serves as the movie’s core, and had to learn both Italian and Russian for the part. Thankfully, neither proves to be a distraction, and the rest of the cast are generally solid, if only given moments to shine.
And most of those moments come in the final act. The one song Ewan missed out which is most relevant here would be “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” and it’s the character’s passions which eventually inform their decisions and their destinies, adding a satisfying layer of drama to round out proceedings. (Just one note; the ending works better if you leave the moment the credits start, rather than the pointless coda that props up in the middle of them.)
Why see it at the cinema: For the lush Italian scenery, for the lush pomposity of the score, and because melodrama this big needs a big canvas.
The Score: 7/10