6.1/10
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83 user 92 critic

La sindrome di Stendhal (1996)

A young policewoman slowly goes insane while tracking down an elusive serial rapist/killer through Italy when she herself becomes a victim of the brutal man's obsession.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Alfredo Grossi
...
Marco Longhi
...
Insp. Manetti
...
Dr. Cavanna
Julien Lambroschini ...
Marie
John Quentin ...
Anna's father
Franco Diogene ...
Victim's husband
Lucia Stara ...
Shop assistant
Sonia Topazio ...
Victim in Florence
Lorenzo Crespi ...
Giulio
...
Policewoman
John Pedeferri ...
Hydraulic engineer
...
Marie's mother
Mario Diano ...
Coroner
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Storyline

Anna Manni is a policewoman trying to capture a vicious serial rapist and killer. The problem is that she suffers from "Stendhal's syndrome", a psychosomatic disease that gives her dizziness and hallucinations when she is exposed to the sight of paintings and artistic masterpieces. When the maniac lures her into a trap inside Florence's famous Uffizi museum, her troubles are just beginning... Written by Giancarlo Cairella <vertigo@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

26 January 1996 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Stendhal's Syndrome  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point the film was set to be made in American with Daryl Hannah cast as Anna Manni. The plans fell through and the production was moved to Italy. See more »

Goofs

Though featuring prominently during the film's opening sequence set at the Uffizi in Florecne, Peter Bruegel's 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus' is actually housed at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels. See more »

Connections

References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Argento breaks formula at last
11 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

Definitely heady stuff from a filmmaker whose prior experience with psychological subtext has been problematic at best, this film highlights a fearless performance by Asia Argento. The obvious "Argento touches" (i.e., pills rattling down an esophagus, the bullet through a woman's face) stick out like a sore thumb, as they act not in service to the story but rather to reference what is expected from Argento; after the catastrophe of Trauma (Argento imitating a hack filmmaker imitating Argento), this film goes in directions that the director's previous films had only hinted at, and doesn't lead to rely on trademarks for a crutch.

The pace of the film is extremely well-handled in the first half, although it seems to lose track in the second half exactly where the narrative should be tightening up. But given Argento's lack of experience with more plot-driven material, this is in some measure to be expected. Cinematography, sets, art direction are all exemplary.

The acting is always a sore point for Argento movies. Here, only a couple of actors are allowed to give performances, but they make them count. Thomas Kretschmann is only on screen a few times, but gives a strong enough impression in that time (and not simply because of the brutal material contained there) that his role seems much larger. However, the film lives or dies with Asia's performance, and she throws herself into it with abandon. She's ultimately more convincing when she's required to be fierce than when she's required to be vulnerable, but goes through a bewildering range of emotions with scarcely a false note. And it's to her credit that it's so unsettling watching the torments her father subjects her to, so to speak, because she commits herself to their realization so thoroughly.

Comparing this to films from Argento's peak period is not really applicable...it comes from an entirely different vein. Which makes it all the more depressing that his next movie would be Il Fantasma dell'Opera, easily his worst.


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