A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Silvio Soldini is a very good director. At his best, he can give us touching, inspiring comedies like "Pane e Tulipani" or in-depth social studies like "Un'anima divisa in due".
Unfortunately this film seems to be stuck in the middle, and ultimately have no point. Well acted (Giuseppe Battiston is always a guarantee), interestingly filmed, too little edited. Yes, the editor could have left some more out of it.
The analysis of the Italian contemporary society (financial struggle, emptiness, fear of engagement) is quite precise, but gets lost in a never-ending (and repeating) lovers' story, everybody gets tired about. The audience tend to look forward the other characters, the whole support cast (the friends, the betrayed companions, the families), because these two really go back an forth, back and forth, back and forth...
Alba Rohrwacher doesn't seem to have enough to work on, in terms of creating a complete character. She's good, but seeing her driving around for a while doesn't take the story anywhere. Pierfrancesco Favino has a more interesting character, and Teresa Saponangelo has a standardized role (as a betrayed wife and mother of screaming children) that we've seen way to often (what a missed opportunity).
At the end of the 'World Première', here in Berlin, Silvio Soldini didn't really know what to say, except to thank for the polite applauses. That's the point: he has the craft, the skills, the production means and the crew to create something new and revealing. We still love you, but please wait for the inspiration, next time. A film can come out wrong like "Agata e la tempesta" and still be an enjoyable experience, but if there is nothing to say, better to pass on to the next project.
Also, please have the English subtitles redone. They were pretty bad. Don't cut corners and have them done better next time. Thanks!
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