Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
Sophia Loren was the greatest actress of her generation when directed by Vittorio De Sica. Watching "Marriage Italian Style" in 2009 confirms that notion, totally. She is mesmerizing in this tragicomic creation by the great Neapolitan author Edoardo De Filippo. We manage to travel away from her external beauty, not an easy thing to do, and dive into her interior beauty and Oh God, how extraordinary! She is beyond truthful, she transforms the most basic element in a woman's heart into pure undiluted art. I was surprised to realize what a villain Domenico Soriano (Marcello Mastroianni) was. And he is the romantic counterpart! Here is where the Italians excel. What a terrifying act of self examination. The Italian male, as written by De Filippo, directed by De Sica and interpreted by the amazing Mastroianni is an everyday, almost acceptable monster in a society that breathes this kind of monster. Strange watching this now, Italy then, as far as women were concerned, were not that far away from a Muslim country. Women's role was basically subservient and a character like Mastroianni's could forge ahead un-accused and unrepentant. Besides the magic of the storytelling and the incredible performance by La Loren, this is is an excruciating document of its day.
Tom Ford's debut has an immediate effect and an after effect. We are taken immediately by the "preciousness" of the image. Limpid, exquisite and slightly detached. The after effect is a whole other story. Colin Firth's face comes to haunt you. His pain and his deep period of reflection has a powerful, contagious effect. Colin Firth creates a character that contains a doses of his D'Arcy of Pride and Prejudice and a pinch of his Adrian LeDuc of Apartment Zero but the rest is totally inedited. His middle age man that spends a day drowning in a memory that tortures him has a resonance that touches countless personal memories. Love without other implications, because love is all there is. I applauded until my hands hurt when I found out that Firth had won the Copa Volpi at the 2009 Venice Film Fest for this role. This was so richly deserved. I doubt I'll see a better performance this year. Bravo!
A mysterious young loner has to sublet part of his apartment. He takes in a border without knowing (or caring I suspect) he's getting much more than he bargained for. That's the plot, in a nutshell. But within that premise a multitude of universes (wether real or imaginary) collide or pretend to collide, not to confuse us, but to confuse themselves. Disguised of this or that. I had a bitter argument with a close friend about certain aspects of the movie, that I don't want to divulge, but the argument was so fierce that we decided to see the movie together. And something strange happened, I started to look at "Apartment Zero" from my friend's point of view and realized that she was absolutely right...as the film ended and after we took time to catch our breath, she confessed to me that had seen the film with my perspective in mind and, she concluded, I was absolutely right. We were in disagreement again because we had switch, we were in each other's brain. I don't remember anything like this ever happening to me. What we do have in common, my friend and I, is that we both love "Apartment Zero" if for entirely different reasons. I love that Colin Firth's character can't connect with his neighbor because his neighbor doesn't know who Geraldine Page is. If you think that's an exaggeration, I know someone exactly like that. Exactly! He's seen the film 200 times but doesn't see the resemblance. "Apartment Zero" can be viewed collectively but it's a private experience. Hurrah for that.
As TV biopics go, this is the best I've ever seen. Most of the credit, if not all, must go to the extraordinary Judy Davis. She claims she wasn't all that familiar with Judy Garland, well she could've fool me and she did. I was allowed in without making me feel like a voyeur. There is a sense of fairness about the tragic - yes, tragic - tale of the biggest entertainment performer the world has ever known. What makes Judy Garland so compelling is her unmistakable humanity and her moments of self awareness that come to attack her rather than reassure her. An artist treated like a commodity from day one and that shouldn't come as a big surprise but it does because we see it reflected in Judy's eyes (Garland or Davis, it doesn't matter) I believed it, and what's most remarkable of all, I understood it.