Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: The January Sale!
Try 3 issues of Empire magazine for just £1
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Quentin Tarantino Adds Three To The Hateful Eight
As shooting starts... Probably literally.
Producers Guild Award Flies To Birdman
While Breaking Bad scores in the TV drama category
Warner Bros. Aims For The Jetsons Again
The latest attempt is animated
New Westworld Image Arrives
And Jonah Nolan talks his plans for the series
Julia Roberts Plans Batkid Begins Film
She'll produce and co-star in the heartwarming tale
Knock Knock Teaser Trailer Online
Keanu Reeves shouldn't answer the door...
Luke Evans Officially Off The Crow Reboot
He's left the nest
American Sniper Still Atop US Box Office
While Mordecai flops badly
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
08 January 2015
Michael Keaton Considering Kong: Skull Island
He may venture forth with Tom Hiddleston and J.K. Simmons
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Crimson Peak
16 October 2015
Avengers: Age Of Ultron
24 April 2015
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
Exhibition (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Zero Theorem (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2013: Only Lovers Left Alive Initial Reaction
Tom Hiddleston takes a bite of the American indie world

25 May 2013  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit

Only Lovers Left Alive is the tantalising title of the latest by veteran American indie auteur Jim Jarmusch, his first film since 2005's Broken Flowers to be invited into the Cannes competition and quite possibly the least satisfying film in his 33-year career. Narrative is never strong in the New York-based director's work, but here it appears to be almost non-existent. Instead, the deadpan details and dry one-liners that are his trademark are pushed well to the fore, creating a quirky but slight movie that, at best, might prompt a new generation of moviegoers to search out his back catalogue.

Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are two jaded lotus eaters; for non-spoiler purposes we'll call them He and She, since their real names are one of the film's better jokes. He lives in Detroit, She is in Tangier, and when the latter runs out of a steady supply of top-grade blood She decamps to Detroit to be with her man. He is a hipster, making grungey dubstep records that he releases in complete secrecy, but other than that, He is bored. Together, they drive around the decaying motor city, taking sustenance from the blood that He scores from a local doctor.

Things get complicated with the arrival of She's sister (Mia Wasikowska), who does not play by these two sophisticated vampire's rules and thus causes major havoc. But that's about it, as far as narrative goes, and there is so talk much about the ennui of their nocturnal lives that it starts to spread to the audience. This time Jarmusch's cult heroes and items aren't so much smuggled in as blatantly advertised – He puts on a Charlie Feathers record for She to admire – and a wall of fame in his den reveals headshots of William S Burroughs, Hank Williams, Billie Holiday, Edgar Allen Poe, Iggy Pop, Franz Kafka and what looks suspiciously like Rodney Dangerfield.

Hiddleston and Swinton do make a cool couple, though, and they deliver the laconic dialogue quite beautifully. And if nothing else, Only Lovers Left Alive prove that Hiddleston has range, and if he makes more choices like this, a long, rich and varied career is all but assured.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Cannes 2013: Venus In Fur Initial Reaction
Polanski returns with another claustrophobic drama
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Jessica Chastain Takes The IMDbunker
The Most Violent Year star takes our most random quiz

Five Impressive Oscar Isaac Roles You Didn't Realise Were Oscar Isaac
Welcome to Oscar season...

Johnny Depp And Paul Bettany Talk Mortdecai
How good is your 'Mortdecai face'?

Fables: A Primer
An introduction to Bill Willingham’s wonderfully dark fairy-tale world

12 Hitchcock Remakes Ranked From Best To Worst
Lifeboat in space, anyone?

From Mission: Impossible To Mortdecai: Writer/Director David Koepp Talks Screenwriting
What would you do if you were in charge of the Spider-Man franchise?

Ghost In The Shell: A Crash Course
Everything you need to know about Scarlett Johansson’s anime remake

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)