The adventures of two cute stragglers, Willy and Antonio, who penetrated at night in the Basilica Del Santo in Padua almost accidentally steal a precious relic of St. Anthony . Realizing ... See full summary »
A writer's need to maintain an appropriate amount of professional "distance" from his or her subject; the journalist in question here is Giovanni, a late adolescent with a flair for journalistic correspondence.
Set in Italy in the early 1980s the film follows Nello (Claudio Bisio), the recently hired director of a newly developed work cooperative of former mental patients. After the closure of ... See full summary »
A married man with children has to move out after his wife can't cope with his cheating with another woman once. He then has to cope to support his family although he has just not very ... See full summary »
Elena (Kasia Smutniak) and Antonio (Francesco Arca) seem not to be made for each other. They are too different in terms of character, life choices, worldview, and the way they relate to ... See full summary »
On his 50th birthday, a man who's been watching his weight, health and temper all his life suffers a heart attack. He's been doing everything he was told he should do and it still didn't help. He decides to turn the page and let loose.
During her visit to a prison to do the nails to an old lady and former head of a criminal clan, a broke beautician is the recipient of the last words of the dying lady whispering the ... See full summary »
One of the most unusual films in recent times that you may happen to see. But then, in my opinion Mazzacurati has always been unusual among Italian directors, due to his sensitivity and his (very un-Italian) understatement. "The passion" tells the story of a group of assorted people, bound together by the most unlikely (and, in some cases, unfortunate) circumstances, who find themselves busy staging the tale of the passion of Christ on a Good Friday in a Tuscan village, an old tradition that is still alive all over Italy. Among the characters, sometimes bizarre but seldom really improbable, two in particular stand out: an obscure, alternative film director that finds himself in a phase of creative stalemate and an ex thief turned actor (and a very bad one at that; or rather not?).
As in other films by Mazzacurati, losers are bound to stay that way, not to turn into winners; you're not in for cheesy Hollywood crap. And yet, those characters are not desperate: without even realising it, they are heroes of sorts in that they manage not to fall into despair despite the hardships of life. That happens, rather than by a deliberate choice, by clinging to sort of a little voice inside that tells them not to betray what they feel they believe in. They sometimes seem not just to suffer, but even to pursue humiliation and defeat; but, in spite of that, they retain, almost by accident, a deep-rooted naiveté and sense of humanity that makes them, in their own way, heroic and easy to sympathise with.
That happens in the lives of most of us; that is why the film is deeply moving and, sometimes very funny. It helps that the cast features several comedians, more (Corrado Guzzanti, who plays the vain Manlio Abbruscati) or less (Marco Messeri, by now a familiar presence in Mazzacurati's films, or Fabrizio Battiston) known by the Italian general public, with a penchant either for the bittersweet or for the downright sardonic.
Never understate losers; there's more to them than meets the eye.
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