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AIDS doctor Antonia's husband is killed by a car. She gets depressed until she learns he had been cheating on her with a man. Following her newly born curiosity for life, she goes to see her husband's lover, Michele, and finds a huge apartment that he shares with gay and transgendered friends, including a Turkish immigrant and a prostitute. Antonia is reluctant to tell these people of her relationship to the dead man, but needs prompting to move on to a new phase of her life. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
[written on the back of the painting]
To Massimo, for our seven years together, for that part of you that I miss and I will never have, for every time you said I can't, but also for every time you said I'll be back... Always waiting, can I call my patience love? Your ignorant fairy
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This was a chance rental, recommended by the owner of my local rental shop and it was a wonderful surprise. We are introduced to the perfect marriage at the outset, Antonia, the wife (played winningly by Margherita Buy) and Massimo, the husband ( played by Andrea Renzi) It is fifteen years along into the marriage straight out of high school and it is sexy and fulfilling, with a wonderful house on a lake, a full time maid and no children by choice.
And just like that, Massimo is killed in a traffic accident and thus begins the story of the unfolding of the secret that he withheld from Antonia for seven years.
In her detective work, Antonia, an AIDS doctor, uncovers another life that Massimo has lived.
Enter handsome Michele ( played by Stefano Accorci), who lives an openly gay life, filled with friends, some straight, some gay, some transgendered. Michele is real, flaws and all and conveys the promiscuous life of a lusty gay male.
Antonia and Michele fight a burgeoning attraction for each other with Antonia repulsed at times by his sexuality with other men. She also becomes bonded with his friends (she has made Massimo her raison d'etre and abandoned other friends for him) and slowly begins to understand his grief process.
Nothing is drawn in black and white here. One senses that Antonia and Michele are right for each other. Massimo was never an intellectual whereas Michele and Antonia are. There are many layers to the story and some wonderful characterizations. The part of Antonia's mother is a particular delight as is the part of Serra, they both have their secrets too.
I gave it a 9 out of 10 for the Italy that it shows, a colourful, complex Italy and the characters that clamp around the heartstrings and don't release for a long time afterwards. The only flaw was in the measly subtitles but at times my Italian was good enough to pick up the nuances and the unsubtitled dialogue and background.
Bravo and Brava to all.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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