Only Lovers Left Alive


STARRING: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska

Vamp reclining: Swinton (with Hiddleston)

If you must live for vampiric eternity, let it be within the dusky confines of a Jim Jarmusch biosphere. Vampire lovers Adam and Eve (Hiddleston and Swinton) have endured for centuries and have the languid worldliness to show for it. They sip their medically sourced blood from sherry glasses, or suck it, ice block–style, on sticks while playing chess and reminiscing about the very distant past. The time is now, in Detroit, where Eve has flown from her home in Tangiers. But behind indie musician Adam’s heavy curtains, the years meld into an endless overlap.


Prowling as the two do by night, their half-lives are as dreamlike as insects suspended in amber. Eve’s younger sister, Ava (Wasikowska), is a jolt of vitality, but she’s also trouble, defying boundaries and drinking from forbidden fruit. Writer-director Jarmusch (Broken Flowers) hooks you in with dry hits of humour and elegantly wasted work from an ethereal Swinton and a browned-off, burned-out Hiddleston, stewing in the timeworn juice of a reluctant survivor who has seen and seen it all.