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This image released by Sony Pictures Classics show Tilda Swinton (left) and Tom Hiddleston in a scene from ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’. (AP)
‘Only Lovers’ moody vampire film Magaro joins Mara in ‘Carol’

‘The Thin Man” with blood cocktails, an ode to hipsterism through the ages, a mainline shot of cool and a playful tribute to artistic fetishism, Jim Jarmusch’s vampire romance “Only Lovers Left Alive” is an addictive mood and tone piece, a nocturnal reverie that incidentally celebrates a marriage that has lasted untold centuries. Almost nothing happens in this minor-key drift through a desolate, imperiled modern world, and yet it is the perennial downtown filmmaker’s best work in many years, probably since 1995’s

“Dead Man,” with which it shares a sense of quiet, heady, perilous passage. Vampire stories come in all shapes and sizes and the blessed and afflicted couple here is well-dressed, madly sophisticated, has impeccable taste in music and literature (the couple’s closest friend is Christopher Marlowe) and is still in love like newlyweds. The woman’s younger sister considers them condescending snobs, but perhaps that’s just a negative way of acknowledging that, given hundreds of years of years of exposure to art and culture, one would be a fool not to have developed a high level of discrimination in such matters.

Adam (Tom Hiddleston) has become quite the recluse. Holed up in an old house in an abandoned part of Detroit, he plays vinyl classics and collects rare vintage guitars brought to him by roadie type Ian (Anton Yelchin). In the not quite as depopulated streets of Tangier, Eve (Tilda Swinton) seeks out Marlowe (John Hurt), whose Shakespeare connection is bandied about. More to the point, however, is his value as a source of “the good stuff” — purified blood their kind can reliably consume now that human — aka “zombie” — blood has become dangerously contaminated.

This represents an unambiguous drug addiction reference, to be sure, but it also casts these vampires as an endangered species and, increasingly, as potential tragic figures, avatars of cultivation, sophistication and monogamous devotion that put average humans to shame but may be doomed now that their food supply has been ruined. For his part, Adam sometimes receives “good stuff” from a medical facility supplier, Dr. Watson (Jeffrey Wright).

Rapture
When, at the 40-minute point, Eve returns to Adam in Detroit, there is instant rapture, a perpetuation of the presumed longest love affair in the world (a photo documents their third wedding, in 1868). With the spirited Eve the driving force in the relationship more than the laid-back Adam, the two British-accented connoisseurs loll around the house, listen to great music, drink great blood, speak about old acquaintances (Lord Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft), are looked down upon by a photo gallery of artistic heroes (Buster Keaton, Mark Twain) and take a nighttime tour in Adam’s old Jaguar coupe of decimated Detroit.

To Adam’s irritation, they are soon joined by Eve’s wild girl imp of a sister, Ava (Mia Wasikowska), whose reckless vampiric ways so disrupt their domestic tranquility that the couple decides to decamp back to Tangier, where Eve can count on a continued supply of good stuff. When this is compromised, a thimble of doubt and suspense enters the equation, as the ancient pair contemplate their fate. Will this be the end, or might they actually have to deign to descend from their tower of refinement and rejoin the hunt?
Swinton is quite wonderful and unusually accessible here in a generous, emotional, tender performance.

With a recessive partner mostly devoted to interior experiences, Eve must do most of the work to animate their relationship and Swinton, wearing long, nearly platinum-blond hair, gives herself to this enterprise without going over the top. Hiddleston, with the longhaired look of a rock star, is required to be far more withdrawn but is a credible bohemian for the ages. Wasikowska supplies antic, intentionally grating abandon as the dangerous sister, Yelchin is sweet as Adam’s flunky and Hurt presents his 16th century playwright as a crusty old wise man. Physically and musically, the film is lovely. “Only Lovers Left Alive,” a Sony Pictures Classic release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for “language and brief nudity.” Running time: 123 minutes.

Also:
LOS ANGELES:
Entertainment One Films US has acquired North American distribution rights to director George C. Wolfe’s drama “You’re Not You,” which stars two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank, Golden Globe nominee Emmy Rossum and Josh Duhamel. The film is slated for theatrical release later this year and is produced by DPP in association with Di Novi Pictures (Alison Greenspan) and 2S Films (Molly Smith and Swank). Jordan Roberts and Shana Feste wrote the script, which is based on the novel of the same name by Michelle Wildgen.


“You’re Not You” centers on the relationship between Kate (Swank), a woman who has been immobilized by ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Bec (Rossum), the aimless and self-absorbed college student she hires to be her caregiver in spite of her husband’s (Duhamel) objections. What was supposed to be a part-time job instead becomes a life-changing experience for Bec as her relationship with Kate transforms her into a young woman with newly-found confidence and ambition. The film co-stars Loretta Devine, Ernie Hudson, Frances Fisher, Marcia Gay Harden, Ali Larter, Jason Ritter, Julian McMahon and Andrea Savage. Myriad Pictures is handling international sales and introduced the film to buyers at EFM in Berlin. The deal was negotiated by CAA and Sejin Croninger, VP of worldwide acquisitions for eOne Films US. The company’s upcoming slate of domestic releases includes “Cuban Fury” with Nick Frost, “Two Night Stand” with Miles Teller and “Decoding Annie Parker” with Aaron Paul.

LOS ANGELES: “Not Fade Away” star John Magaro has joined the cast of Todd Haynes’ drama “Carol,” TheWrap has learned. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novella “The Price of Salt,” the film stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler and Sara Paulson. Picked up by the Weinstein Company in Cannes last year, “Carol” chronicles the burgeoning and tempestuous relationship between two very different women in 1950s NYC. Magaro will play Dannie, a writer with an artistic spirit who works at the New York Times. Mara’s character Therese relates to Dannie, as he’s a bit different from the rest of the guys in her group. Phyllis Nagy wrote the script, and production is slated to start later this month. Magaro, who starred in “Sopranos” creator David Chase’s feature directorial debut “Not Fade Away,” will soon be seen in Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken.” He’s repped by Paradigm and Authentic Talent and Literary Management. (Agencies)
 

By Todd McCarthy

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