tilda.jpgBacklit by a throbbing, surging, overripe score from opera composer John Adams, and wandering stylishly through the mother of all Milanese mansions, Tilda Swinton & company offer much in the way of visual opulence, in the new Italian chick flick I Am Love.

Tall, attenuated and obviously, beautifully bored, Swinton’s character – a Russian blonde married into a wealthy family of spoiled Milanese textile magnates – is only one of many confined and closeted characters in this sensuous bit of fluff. With her Mannerist neck — think of all those Borromini facades and cupolas in Rome – Swinton pours classy Baroque contraposto into her role as a matron who “awakens” to freedom with a bit of help from her son’s best friend.

But we’ve seen this film before. And better. Ken Russell’s Women in Love. Every film by Visconti. Any number of recent Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone-que summer diversions. Overmatched by Adams’ annoyingly insistent score, which surges against the quiet cinematography (again, sensory controposto), I Am Love might offer diversion to those who like their Hallmark moments embroidered with soft-core, soft-focus nookie.

Caveat emptor.