Only Lovers Left Alive

Film Review by Philip Concannon | 17 Feb 2014
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
Film title: Only Lovers Left Alive
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, John Hurt
Release date: 21 Feb
Certificate: 15

If you have ever taken a moment to wonder what a vampire romance directed by Jim Jarmusch would look like, then Only Lovers Left Alive probably comes pretty close to the film you imagined. Detached, languid and drily amusing, this is a tale of vampires whose biggest problem is not sunlight or garlic, but an overwhelming sense of ennui. Adam (Hiddleston) and Eve (Swinton) have been together for centuries, but they have grown weary of the cultural decay and aimless zombies (i.e. us) that they see all around them.

There’s not a lot of plot to sustain Only Lovers Left Alive’s casual pacing – that is until a sparky Mia Wasikowska turns up as Eve’s petulant younger sister – but it’s just fun to hang out in this world and share these vamps’ fetishistic pleasure in physical media. Like most Jarmusch films, Only Lovers Left Alive occasionally threatens to be a little too cool for its own good, but at least the characters’ undead status makes their name-dropping more interesting than most: “Byron – what a bore.” [Philip Concannon]