Emma left Russia to live with her husband in Italy. Now a member of a powerful industrial family, she is the respected mother of three, but feels unfulfilled. One day, Antonio, a talented chef and her son's friend, makes her senses kindle.
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Over two decades ago, Emma left Russia to follow Tancredi Recchi, the man who had proposed to her. Now a member of a powerful industrial Milanese family, she is the respected mother of three: two sons, Edoardo who is engaged to Eva and Gianluca that are businessmen and their lesbian daughter Elisabetta that lives in Nice. Emma, although not unhappy, feels confusedly unfulfilled. One day Edoardo becomes partner in a restaurant with Antonio, a talented chef and Edoardo's friend and Emma has a love affair with him. It does not take long before she embarks on a passionate affair with the sensuous young man. When Edoardo discovers the affair of his mother there is a tragedy that will affect the Recchi family.
Emma eventually did the only thing that she could do
During the past decade, Tilda Swinton has proved herself to be a very adept actress. I've never heard of Luca Guadagnino, but their collaboration "Io sono l'amore" ("I Am Love" in English) presents an interesting and slightly chilling look at a wealthy Italian family.
The focus is the fictional Recchi clan in Milan, and Emma (Swinton) is a Russian woman who married into the family and pretty much turned her back on her Slavic identity. Her husband Tancredi (Pippo Delbono) is the son of industrialist Edoardo (Gabrielle Ferzetti), for whom a party is thrown where he announces that he is handing the business to his son.
By this point, it starts to become apparent that Emma's life feels incomplete. Maybe it's the weirdness of a life where one is always surrounded by extended family and getting waited on hand and foot - and how the extended family seems determined to organize all relationships - or maybe it's the surprise at learning of her daughter Elisabetta's (Alba Rohrwacher) lesbianism. But when Emma's son Edoardo Jr. (Flavio Parenti) introduces her to chef Antonio (Edoardo Gabriellini), who prepared the cake, this begins a new chapter in Emma's life.
Throughout the movie, it seemed that the food acted as a metaphor: Emma was starting to taste a whole side of her existence about which she'd never known. Maybe the food and other visuals were a little overstated throughout the movie, but I think that the end result was a good one. To be certain, there was a scene in the movie that made me feel as though I'd just stopped breathing - you'll know it when you see it - and I think that what Emma does at the end is the only thing that she could have done. I recommend the movie.
PS: Marisa Berenson, who plays Allegra, previously starred in "Death in Venice" and "Cabaret". She is the sister of actress Berry Berenson, who married "Psycho" star Anthony Perkins and was in one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
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