Jim Jarmusch‘sOnly Lovers Left Alive––a sultry vampire movie in the tradition of The Hunger––is front-loaded with a killer cast. Tom Hiddleston (Thor) is Adam, a centuries-old vampire rocker, living as a Detroit recluse and growing increasingly depressed. Tilda Swinton is Eve, his longtime girlfriend, currently living in Tangiers––one hell of a long-distance relationship. Soon, Adam’s depression runs so deep, he special orders a wooden .38 bullet with thoughts of suicide, and Eve is compelled to fly to Detroit to help him through the darkness.
Anton Yelchin plays Ian, Adam’s hirsute rocker sidekick and wooden bullet procurer––a human familiar, of sorts. With fears of blood contaminants common, Adam is forced to buy clean blood from a local doctor, played by Jeffrey Wright. John Hurt is vampire Christopher Marlowe. Yes, that Christopher Marlowe. Even Mia Wasikowska shows up late in the game as Eve’s sister, Eva, and it doesn’t take long before she’s drinking up all the O-Neg in the fridge and draining the occasional neighbor.
With its meandering tracking shots, laconic montages, and random guitar fetishism, Only Lovers Left Alive is the obvious brainchild of its writer/director, Jim Jarmusch, as eccentric a filmmaker to ever hold a camera. It’s best to walk into Only Lovers Left Alive knowing what you’re in for and willing to submit entirely. The plot is a mere whisper. There’s some conflict, but it’s minimal. But there’s music. And mood. And romance. Jarmusch’s film is like a low, gravelly conversation overheard between two old souls late in the night. Sometimes it’s nice to just spend a quiet evening with an old eccentric friend.