StoryJude Law makes the term emotional vampire literal in this somber, restrained tale of a modern-day bloodsucker in London. As the improbably named medical researcher Steven Grlscz (pronounced "grilsh"), he's a cool charmer who woos lonely women and feeds off them at the height of their emotional intensity. He begins his seduction of Elina Löwensohn (who played a vampire herself in Nadja) just as relentless police detective Timothy Spall starts an investigation of him for the murder of his former lover Kerry Fox. It's the start of an unusual battle of wits.
Equal parts AIDS metaphor, ancient myth with a modern twist, and shrewd mind game, Immortality (originally released as The Wisdom of Crocodiles) is an art-movie interpretation of the vampire myth, too chic and bloodless to be compelling but curiously fascinating in its way. Leong Po-chih directs with clockwork precision and emotional restraint, elegantly creating a handsome but impersonal world where Grlscz's painful need for love is an extreme symptom of modern life. Law plays his part as a fascinating paradox, hiding his feelings and schemes behind a mask of impenetrable ennui that periodically bursts in a gush of sorrow and disappears just as fast, while Löwensohn is almost as hard to read with her angular face and unusual accent. The meticulous detail and cool images make this more a dispassionate mind game than a horror movie, where the ideas never quite come to life but become a curious enigma. --Sean Axmaker
|Jude Law||Steven Grlscz|
|Elina Löwensohn||Anne Labels|
|Timothy Spall||Inspector Healey|
|Jack Davenport||Sergeant Roche|
|Hitler Wong||Noodles Chan|