Only Lovers Left Alive (2014) Review


One of the films I’ve been looking forward to see at  Jameson Dublin International Film Festival was Only Lovers Left Alive 

Only Lovers Left Alive is a dark romantic comedy written and directed by Jim Jarmusch.

Like in the trailer the movie starts off with a bird’s eye view of the camera spinning around Eve (Tilda Swinton) and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) to represent a vinyl record. Both characters are lying down staring at the ceiling as though transfixed.  We later learn that after drinking a tiny glass of blood, they are high in their own psychedelic world. The soundtrack, especially at the beginning of the film, lulls you into their world of darkness.


Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is a centuries old vampire who is currently living as a reclusive rockstar. The only thing that comforts him is his musical instruments and the music he makes. He has grown to hate the humans or ‘zombies’ as he calls them and their modern world of technology.  His only friend is Ian, or rather the only human he tolerates. Ian acts like his personal assistant as he supplies Adam with his growing collection of vintage guitars. It’s an interesting take for a film to have the vampire see the human species as a zombie race.  It’s also a nice little touch to name the main characters Adam & Eve or maybe the characters chose those names themselves, having been around for centuries and witnessing more than any other could ever hope to see.


This movie is really about the downside to being a centuries old vampire, Adam is having trouble moving forward and letting go of the past. All this is evident in the century old robe he wears, the decades old furniture and his stethoscope from the late 1960’s.  His depression has reached the point where he asks Ian to get a wooden bullet made. When his wife, Eve senses his depression during a phone call, she travels from Tangier to Detroit to see him. When she finds the bullet she helps him find reasons for him to keep on living. Their reunion is abruptly halted by the sudden appearance of Eve’s younger sister, Ava (Mia Wasikowska), who decides to visit after being separated for 87 years.

This is a beautifully composed, well written and perfectly acted by some of Britain’s finest talent including Tom Hiddleston , Tilda Swinton  and  John Hurt .


The  Jameson Dublin International Film Festival is being held in Dublin from 13 to 23rd February 2014. The full Programme can be viewed here and tickets can be purchased here.

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