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Love and injury in time of war. Attilio de Giovanni teaches poetry in Italy. He has a romantic soul, and women love him. But he is in love with Vittoria, and the love is unrequited. Every night he dreams of marrying her, in his boxer shorts and t-shirt, as Tom Waits sings. Vittoria travels to Iraq with her friend, Fuad, a poet; they are there with the second Gulf War breaks out. Vittoria is injured. Attilio must get to her side, and then, as war rages around him, he must find her the medical care she needs. In war, does love conquer all? Written by
Attilio de Giovanni:
I told myself: "There must be people whose job it is to use the right words, put things in a way... who when their heart beats, can get other people's hearts to beat."
Attilio de Giovanni:
That day I decided to become a poet.
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Benigni seeks to win the heart of the woman of his dreams despite many adversities... war in Iraq, pig-headed camels and lack of interest on the part of his beloved.
A pleasant, perhaps very pleasant, two hours spent watching Benigni do his stuff in Italy and Iraq, though I have yet to decide if I really wanted to see another film about him chasing the woman of his dreams, especially as I can never decide if said actress is limited in her acting ability, or if she finds herself constricted by the rather reductive roles she finds herself interpreting. That said, Reno is excellent as the Iraqi poet in exile in France, firstly as a thought-provoking contrast to Benigni's over-the-top enthusiasm, and secondly because he is the politics that are touted when they describe the film as political. The poet's reaction to his return to his native land after many years in exile is an understated, but strongly felt, message. Of course there is also a message, and many jibes, in the humor of Benigni... about young American soldiers in Iraq, the chaos that still reigns in the country after the fall of the old guard and the naivety with which westerners view both culture and war. Great to see Tom Waits on screen again, though with an uncharacteristically romantic song, and for those who are interested, Waits does play 'the musician' and not a speaking role. The jury's out on how convincing the parent-child relationship was, Benigni seemed to be speaking to two small children, not teenagers. And Fox, though a good actress, played a rather mono-dimensional love interest here. I had the pleasant surprise of coming across them making this film while I was passing through Fiumicino airport earlier in the year- the humor that draws people into the cinema halls is even more vibrant live.
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