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|9 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sergio Rubini plays an art critic in love and in lust with a former student, the very beautiful Vittoria Puccini. He's been her man, protector and lover since she was 16 years of age. Enters artist Riccardo Scamarcio into their lives and more prominently into Vittoria Puccini's heart and bed. Rubini's critic will do everything to befriend him so he can destroy him. Not bad as a premise but Rubini is not Claude Chabrol and here we spend most of the time way ahead of the characters without really caring about them. The film looks expensive with exterior scenes at the Pantheon and Piazza del Popolo but it's all merely a sterile an annoying exercise in self importance. Sergio Rubini has been better as an actor and much better as a director in the past. Riccardo Scamarcio, beautiful yes, but too much of him shows, mostly, his limitations as an actor. Was Rubini here doing with Scamarcio what his character did to Scamarcio's character? Nastiness can be very entertaining from All About Eve onwards but here it's just predictable and boring. I'm really sorry about that.
How annoying, really. Claudio Fragasso has a good eye, there is no doubt about that, so, I question , why puts his good eye at the service of this over inflated empty script. I don't care what anyone tells me regarding what the film is about, I just seen it, it's nothing about nothing trying to be so many other movies. A pretty cast Raoul Bova, with his wooden beautiful face can't help being at the center of a ridiculous and if that wasn't enough, pretentious piece of nothing. I was surprised to find Libero Di Rienzo in the cast. He, I thought, is one of the bright promises of the Italian cinema as an actor as well as a director - Here he is completely wasted and not in a fun, interesting way. Hopefully after this "return" there is no going back.
The first 30 minutes or so made me hope for the best. Elio Germano is an actor with an extraordinary power to grab his audience and make us care, plus, the film seemed to move away from the (very good) book it is based on and go for the most engaging comedic aspects of the story. I knew it was too good to be true. Shortly after the film falls in a series of common places robbing us from the possibility to be surprised, engaged or even care. I wonder why it is that we - in Italy I mean - feel the need to visit the past though the same identical paths. To tell you the truth, I'm sick and tired of it. Can we tell stories that live out of its own strength. Politics, intellectual reflections without any, real, base on reality. We are known for protesting at a bar table, maybe go to a demonstration but at the end of the day we are going to do what we're told. Honestly or dishonestly. Could it be that, this relentless film revisions, is a tacit way to justify the fact that we've been so ineffectual in real life. We've been through everything and more but nothing has really changed. We're better identified by the Alberto Sordi characters like the one in "La Grande Guerra" by the great Mario Monicelli. My question is: If I, as an Italian, couldn't care less about the political mismatch of two Italian brothers, imagine the rest of the world. How confusing and ultimately annoying way to tell a story. There was a sort of uproar today, knowing that this film had not been selected for the official selection at the Cannes Film Fest. Hey, come on, think again. Why should it be? There is absolutely nothing new in it. Nothing! Riccardo Scamarcio continues to sleep walk through his film roles. He is beautiful but not nearly as magnetic as Elio Germano. I hope we'll wake up soon and realize that we won't change the past by revisiting it. That we are who we are and should look ahead to see what happens.
Once again, Ozpetek introduce us to an unorthodox gathering in the shape of a family. The gay couple Perfrancesco Favino and Luca Argentero are a model couple. Lovely, talented, kind. The heterosexual couple, Margherita Buy and Stefano Accorsi are also kind even if infidelity and other obstacles complicate their life but only momentarily. Now, okay, it all looks fine but I couldn't quite figure out what was I looking at. The story unfolds without any rhyme or reason. Did I miss something important? Favino is totally credible and Argentero is eye candy of the most delightful kind. Ennio Fantastichini is funny and pathetic, Stefano Accorsi is Stefano Accorsi and Margherita Buy manages a very civilized matrimonial crisis. Serra Yilmaz does her thing, beautifully of course, but hardly new. The only surprise was Lunetta Savino, an ex hairdresser and Argentero's step mom. Her character brings a much needed truth to the proceedings. It is, perhaps, the best written character. Somebody asked me what the film was about and I couldn't quite answer. I think that's were the problem resides. If Ferzan Ozpetek had something to say I completely missed it. However, the beauty of the people on the screen kept me awake and somehow engaged.
I applaud intentions. Ambitious and all the rest but, Oh dear, Oh dear...The work from an artist of the TV generation. Everything reeks of TV. The banality of the interconnecting stories seem destined for an audience who has never read a book. Huge demographic, I agree, but Oh dear, Oh dear I didn't know if to escape after Freddy Rodriguez and his friend discuss the plea of the Mexicans or just before Helen Hunt realizes she didn't bring her black shoes. I think, and please forgive the impertinence, this would have worked much better as a TV miniseries. At least it would have reached the natural targeted audience and I would never have seen it. Oh well, too late I guess
What a terrifyingly truthful document. That's what we are and, probably, what we'll always be. Us Italians. What a shame that the protests, usually, take place at a bar but what it comes to, at the end,is just a shrugging of shoulders followed by a "What Can I Do About It?" We, Italians, allow this things to happen because we don't care enough about anything. We have the leaders that we deserve and this is true for the rest of the world as well but look at what we deserve! What a shame, what a shame, what a shame! "Viva Zapatero" released in theaters seemed a step in the right direction but how many people have actually seen it? The scenes with a massive crowd assisting to the show after the banning from RAI brought tears to my eyes and a glimmer of hope creeped up into my system, just a glimmer that has long gone and disappeared. What a shame, what a shame, what a shame!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Nicole Kidman is writing a book, Julianne Moore is reading the book, Meryl Streep is the book. A brilliant conceit by master David Hare, astonishingly performed by Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Ed Harris, Toni Collette, John C Railly, Allison Janney,Stephen Dillane, Miranda Richardson Jeff Daniels and Clare Danes, even Eileen Atkins in a tiny, but revelatory moment, as the flower shop owner, is a true standout. Nicole Kidman's Virgina Woolf is a bit of a miracle, specially now, 5 years later, when you can actually look at her without noticing her nose. What you do notice is her thinking, her beautifully torturous battle for sanity - whether conscious or unconscious - "Even crazy people want to be asked!- she blurts at her sister to admonished her for not having been invited to a party. Kidman is truly sensational as is Meryl Streep, although one has come to expect that and that's why Kidman makes the bigger splash. Julianne Moore however, as the depressed perfect mother/wife of the 1950's, took me completely out of the emotional tornado Kidman and Streep consistently nurture and provide. Her performance is a performance and I was painfully aware of the machinery working just behind her eyes. Regardless "The Hours" is a rewarding experience a totally accessible intellectual and emotional ride.
No matter who you are, what's your political stand, or your social status, if any. You won't to turn the page or look away from the TV set if there is a piece of news concerning the royals, the British Royals in particular. I think it's human nature so there is nothing we can do about it. That's why it's amazing to realize that the Queen didn't quite understand that and how powerful and moving her surrendering to the fact. I don't know how to describe Helen Mirren's portrayal but I'm tempted to say already (I only saw the film last night) that is among the best I've ever seen. Riveting, totally fulfilling. The illusion is complete and without mockery or mimicry Helen Mirren gives us a full picture of someone who only exists in our minds as a title and in a series of constantly repeating images - hats, smiles, hand waves and holiday greetings from a TV screen - Congratulations to everyone concerned. A total triumph.
It could be a work of fiction. Just like the factual novel of Truman Capote. For maximum enjoyment one should forget last years "Capote". Like so many other things in modern pop culture the same stories can be told countless times, the versions vary but at its center there is a truth that its stranger than fiction. Truman Capote is like an alien visiting our planet, his intellect allows him to see beyond our limitations and his need to belong to be accepted transforms him into one of the greatest manipulators of all time. Toby Jones is extraordinary. There is no performance other that Capote's own daily performance to charm and seduce everyone who has anything he needs. He seems him quiver when his rapport with Perry King takes unexpected erotic turns. There is real sexual tension in their scenes together. I believed it, Perry King I mean, I believe that he felt compelled and attracted by this tiny,famous,alien celebrity. Daniel Craig is superb and his character has the power to get under our skin without betraying the brutal side of his nature. What Capote felt is another story. He lies so blatantly, so beautifully that it's impossible to tell, maybe even Capote himself couldn't tell. Doug McGrath's version of the events is funnier, more entertaining and certainly more theatrical that last year's version that I've advised you to forget - The advise is heartfelt but difficult to put into practice - Sandra Bullock, Juliet Stevenson, Sigourney Weaver and Isabella Rossellini contribute to the fun and to the theatrical feel of "Infamous" If you're a sucker for pop culture and who isn't? Run to see it.