The unfulfilled Russian wife of a wealthy Italian businessman, Emma Recchi (Swinton) finds her passions rekindled from an unlikely quarter.
Tilda Swinton unleashes her diva and Italian cinema gets a powerful new voice in this operatic melodrama. Recalling Luchino Visconti’s classic The Leopard, this stars Swinton as Emma, a Russian-born woman who has married above herself into a wealthy Milanese family. Falling out of love with her stern husband, Emma embarks on a mad fling with an immigrant chef her son’s befriended.
Inevitably, her privileged world unravels... Though it drags a little, this stately film never descends into formula, using John Adams’ score to great effect and boldly utilising the flourishes of ’70s Italian genre cinema (zooms, handheld camera) to create something original, refreshing and really very moving.
A stately, rich and moving Italian melodrama in the spirit of Visconti.