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The Trial Begins More at IMDbPro »L'ora di punta (original title)

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Powerful Tale--Told simply--With Magnificence...

10/10
Author: lukeinsandiego-1 from United States
28 December 2013

I had never seen the actor Michele Lastella prior to this film. I was blown away by his performance. I don't want to sound like I'm overstating here--but he has a rare gift of being able to communicate contradictory emotions simultaneously. As he was courting an older woman--actress Fanny Ardant--I sensed his disdain and his insincerity together. He made me feel his conflict, and let me know that this was manipulation, not genuine caring. Brando could do that but to get me so lost in his work, Lastella must have some new magic or else I am hallucinating. I was fascinated by how easily he played people to get his own way and how later, when his deceptions became clear, how he was able to suspend me between panic and the belief that he was ruthless enough to make it all come out the way he needed it to. In ruthlessness, I seldom find hesitation, once the dye is cast--and Lastella plays it that way. I hope he has a body of work because I want to see more of him.

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A welcome throwback

7/10
Author: John Seal from Oakland CA
27 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Back in the 1970s political corruption was one of Italian cinema's most popular themes. When the industry collapsed in the '80s, however, the theme disappeared with it - but thanks to 2007's The Trial Begins is apparently on the comeback trail. Written and directed by Vincenzo Marra, the film stars Michele Lastella as Filippo, an eager beaver young cop looking to make his mark by cracking down on corrupt businessmen and bent politicians. When he meets vivacious (and rich) older woman Caterina (Fanny Ardant), however, he finds himself being pulled into her world of back-scratching and under-the-table deal-making. Marra's film provides brilliant and searing commentary on the state of Italian governance, and in a country ruled by a profligate oligarch whose hands are in every pot couldn't be more timely.

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