Jacobo Carrucci, an Italian painter, better known as Pontormo, lived and worked in the Florence of the Renaissance. He was a highly talented man selected by Duke Cosimo De Medici to do the frescoes of the basilica of San Lorenzo. This story deals with the painter almost at the end of his life. At that time, the Holy Inquisition was creating terror among the population. Those that were deemed heretic faced an imminent death.
In the story, Pontormo discovers a lady that worked as a tapestry maker. Anna, evidently had gone to Florence from Northern Europe, Holland, most probably. The master sees in her an artisan that can follow what he wants to create. At the same time, Anna, who is mute because of a horrible thing that happened to her, is the envy among the other weavers because of being singled out by Pontormo.
The Inquisitor has his doubts about the way Pontormo incorporates the human body into the work he is doing, something he deems as indecent, but since the Duke is his patron, little can be done to endanger the life of the painter. When Anna is exiled after a trial for heresy, Pontormo suffers an accident and his health begins to decline. The irony is that the work he conceived has to be finished by Bronzino, one of his friends.
This film directed by Giovanni Fago, offered a view to that period of history in Italy during an uncertain time, which on the other hand produced masterpieces unequaled since then. Joe Mantegna, an American actor of Italian background, plays the painter. The basic problem with Mr. Mantegna's appearance is that physically he is much younger than the character he was asked to play, and it shows. This actor has done much better work than what he shows at home. Then, there is the problem of the dubbing; since Mr. Mantegna probably is not fluent in the language, the synchronization does not work well between what is shown on the screen and the actor. The beautiful Galatea Ranzi is Anna, the woman that Pontormo admired from afar. Laurent Terzieff makes a mean Inquisitor, and Massimo Wertmuller appears as Bronzino.
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