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This movie, based on a novel by Giorgio Bassani, plays in the high-day of Mussolini's Fascist Italy. Eraldo is a golden boy, a stunningly beautiful college student and boxer, popular and spoiled rotten by his mother. To keep living beyond his means he 'gratiously accepts' the generous, rarely returned favors of Dr. Fadigati, an elder, gay gentleman who tries to live his life morally despite the age, but cannot keep stand by as it leads to increasing violence, especially against Jews such as the brilliant student David Lattes and even a professor at Eraldo's North Italian university. More tragedy is in the making... Written by
I was deeply moved by original version of this movie despite my survival Italian. Recently, I had the chance to see it again with English subtitles. Yes, indeed, watching as The Gold Rimmed Glasses verifies my earlier conclusion that it delivers a timeless story on rise of oppression and versatility of human emotions -- in the very negative sense-- depending on political climate, in other words, societal readiness for submission. Based on Giorgio Bassani's novel, The Gold Rimmed Glasses unfolds story of outcasts on two levels, social-political and individual. Set in 1938 Ferrara, Italy, those layers are interwoven beautifully. University student David (Rupert Everett), a wealthy Jewish family witnesses in great despair the rise of Mussolini fascism along with increasingly alarming racial laws and neighborhood hate and hostility. Staying calm on the eve of a world war becomes a virtual reality for Jews and anyone "different," which brings second layer of the story come into play. Played by Phillippe Noiret, doctor Fadigati is not a Jew but feels like one of the "others" because of his homosexuality. He wants his own life and keep cool as much as possible, however, the inevitable game of survival with rise of fascism haunts him in the aftermath of his boyfriend's abuse. In a poisoned atmosphere, where Mussolini finds alliance with Hitler, only David and Fadigati can understand and support each other. Dismayed by his girlfriend's decision to convert to Catholicism, David does his best to rage against changing times, whereas Fadigati yields to his fate. Under Giuliano Montaldo's direction, Phillippe Noiret and Rupert Everett are wonderful in their roles. They deserve extra credit by playing Italian characters considering former being French and latter being British. A great movie in Italian, I hope, The Gold Rimmed Glasses gets digital restoration eventually to receive international acclamation it deserves.
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