DRAMA; 2hr (Italian with subtitles)
STARRING: Tilda Swinton, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Antonio Biscaglia
Dangerous liaison: Swinton and Gabbriellini
The confining opulence of the Milanese Recchi family’s world is one of seduction and control. Coddled within the textile dynasty’s magnificent villa, Swinton (looking fabulous) is a picture of supreme elegance as Russian-born wife and mother Emma Recchi. A nexus of calm in the swirling flux of family affairs, Emma seems certain and assured. But no one’s life is guaranteed and her centre of gravity is thrown when she is seduced by a young chef (Gabbriellini as Antonio) who is a friend and business partner of her son (Biscaglia). Is it the man or his ambrosial food? Either way, Emma is completely undone, to seismic and richly melodramatic effect.
Writer-director Luca Guadagnino’s flowing camera work has a trailblazing nervous energy that seems to lift and carry the characters. Only when Emma is with Antonio does the rhythm slow as she relaxes into her long-lost authentic self. What that self will exact from her and those she cares about is the unspoken question that underlies and defines this bold and unusual film.