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Io sono l'amore (2009)

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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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria Paiato ...
Mattia Zaccaro ...
Ginevra Notarbartolo ...
Giangaleazzo Visconti di Modrone ...
Andrea Tavecchia
Edoardo Recchi Senior
Allegra Rori Recchi
Liliana Flores ...
Liliana Macedo
Jimmi Carlos Zuniga Macias ...
Joso Macedo


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. But Emma, although not unhappy, feels confusedly unfulfilled. One day Antonio, a talented chef and her son's friend and partner, makes her senses kindle. It does not take long before she embarks on a passionate affair with the sensuous young man. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

23 July 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El amante  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€3,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£171,959 (UK) (9 April 2010)


$5,004,648 (USA) (26 November 2010)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie Emma is watching in bed -- and Tancredi switches off -- is "Philadelphia," starring Tom Hanks. See more »


When Edoardo and Elisabetta meet in London, there's a lot of shadow on the pavement. When they walk away together in the next shot, there's a lot more sun. But the weather can change quickly in the UK. See more »


Elisabetta Recchi: Happy is a word that makes one sad.
See more »


Referenced in Teen Wolf: The Tell (2011) See more »


Harmonielehre: Part III. Meister Eckardt and Quackie
Composed by John Adams
Performed by San Francisco Symphony (as San Francisco Symphony Orchestra )
See more »

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User Reviews

An Empty Shell Masquerading as High Art
9 August 2010 | by (Old London, New England) – See all my reviews

"I Am Love" opens with a sumptuously photographed twenty-minute sequence showing the preparations for a birthday celebration at the opulent Recchi mansion in Milan, followed by a dinner where an aging grandfather bequeaths ownership of the family business jointly to his son and grandson. This extended prologue seems to be preparing the ground for a Shakespearean conflict between the austere father and his handsome debonair son - but the anticipated paternal/filial rivalry soon fizzles away into a non-event, along with all the other interesting narrative possibilities. What follows is a damp squib, as director Guadagnino offers only a trite TV soap storyline wrapped up in the luxurious finery of grand opera.

The film abruptly decides to focus on the wife of the new family patriarch, Emma (Tilda Swinton) - an icy Russian beauty of modest origins who seems to lack meaningful relationships with either husband, children or friends. She looks into mirrors, eats some dainty dishes and shops at couture boutiques for a while, before embarking on an impulsive affair with a young chef who is a friend of her son. Their romance is presented as a great passion, but it receives the same shallow attention as all the other relationships and issues in the film

  • other than laying a dinner table and having sex in a bug-infested

meadow. The film is so preoccupied with being 'artistic' that it doesn't bother to show what might attract these two misfits to one another - and if one were interested enough to speculate, general boredom would appear to be the best bet. The extra-marital affair eventually leads to some predictable melodrama - culminating in the ponderous symbolism of doves escaping from a church - but a discerning audience will have lost patience with Guadagnino's fraudulent artistic pretensions and his collection of uninteresting, two-dimensional characters long before the disappointing climax.

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