Edited Twitter reaction: You can’t say George Miller‘s Three Thousand Years of Longing isn’t trippy or eye-popping or CG-swamped or…okay, a bit florid. But it also touches bottom with a poignant, imaginative and very adult current of romance, discovery and even transcendence.

Much of Miller’s film is invested in a 21st Century CG-meets-Michael Powell and The Thief of Baghdad aesthetic, but it’s framed by a very unusual and touching love story between Tilda Swinton‘s English writer — whipsmart, spinsterish — and Idris Elba‘s hulking and thoughtful Djinn (i.e., magic genie).

I can’t say that Longing is a supreme G-spot experience — too much is submerged in the Djinn’s fantastical history, which is devoid of story tension — but the film has something of real emotional value while Swinton and Elba are holding the screen.

I was praying that the film wouldn’t stay inside the genie bottle and smother us with CG fantasy mush.

But during the last 15% or 20% it leaves the CG palaver behind and focuses on the grown-up love story, which is one of the gentlest, most other-worldly and spiritually driven I’ve ever experienced.

Elba** and Swinton are wonderful — seasoned, grounded, playing-for-keeps actors at the peak of their game.

I was scared at first, but Longing turned out much better than I expected. A mixed bag with an intriguing beginning and a payoff that feels (or felt in my case) sublime.

** Elba’s gentle and reflective genie reminded me, of course, of Rex Ingram‘s Djinn in The Thief of Baghdad (’40). What a contrast between this exuberant, rip-roaring, loin-clothed giant and Ingram’s quiet, tradition-minded “Tilney” — servant to Ronald Colman‘s Supreme Court nominee in George StevensThe Talk of the Town (’42).

Friday, 5.20 — 6:45 pm: I’m sitting in the rear left section of the Grand Lumière for a 7 pm black-tie screening of George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing. I scored a last-minute ticket through friends, and I’m the only guy not wearing a tux. Miller, Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton, producer Doug Mitchell on red carpet as we speak.