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Film Review: ‘Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot’

A bedraggled alcoholic slacker discovers he’s “inherited” a relative, at least for a few days, in Matteo Oleotto’s broadly played debut comedy, “Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot.” Firmly planted in the vine-rich soil of Italy’s northeastern region of Friuli and neighboring Slovenia, “Zoran” aspires to an American indie feel, yet stages the laughs too cartoonishly for wide-range appeal outside home territories. Within its borders however, and with the right marketing campaign, the pic could see strong returns, as presaged by the public’s prize in Venice’s Critics’ Week.

Friuli’s traditions, especially its wine and music, lend a special zest to “Zoran,” steeped in the spirit of towns close to the city of Gorizia, whose earthy residents while away the hours in rustic taverns when there’s no more land to work. Paolo (Giuseppe Battiston, heading toward a late Dom DeLuise look) is a misanthropic vulgarian wedded to cheap local vino,
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