A Russian émigré living in Italy, now part of a wealthy Milanese family, experiences a life-changing transformation after two experiences overwhelm her. Firstly, by chance, she discovers that her daughter has secretly left a loveless relationship to pursue an exciting, new relationship. Then, a young chef enters the periphery of her life and prepares a dish that has a profound power over her, reawakening senses dulled by her haute-bourgeois life.
Luca Guadagnino’s modern melodrama became the first part of his sumptuous and much-loved Desire trilogy which also includes A Bigger Splash (2015) and Call Me by Your Name (2017). Each film feeds on the fantasy of transgression fuelled by a warm Italian sun, here, juxtaposed with a snow-covered and muted Milan.
I Am Love brought the attention of a wide audience to Guadagnino and his films. His debut feature film, The Protagonists, was produced ten years earlier and similarly starred Tilda Swinton. For most of the decade between the two films, they collaborated on I Am Love as director, actress and co-producers.