Franco Elica is a film director casting a remake of a pious melodrama in Rome. He's melancholy, heading south for a break. On a beach, he meets a man who films weddings and is roped into helping film the wedding of the daughter of a severe and imperious prince. The wedding is one of convenience - the prince needs money, the groom is a mama's boy. Elica is attracted to the bride, Boda, and tries to convince her not to marry. No matter how outrageous his behavior, the prince keeps Elica on as the wedding director. As the wedding approaches, what's real blurs with Elica's imagination. Is he mad?Written by
If Sicily is a territory of the baroque, with its doubling of perspective, that's part of this movie's challenge to realism. And it's an exuberant pleasure here, outdoing Fellini with not one but three film directors, plus of course the actual Bellocchio, who has made some really great movies and shouldn't be touchy about his honor. There is a variety of takes and casting improvisations on Manzoni's "I promessi sposi" with, somewhere there, actual marriage. Sicily is also taken to be a territory of skulduggery (You already know this version of the island, so there's no spoiler involved), a comic version of which makes the picture worth seeing for Sergio Castellito's work with guard dogs on the floor of the great hall of a palazzo.
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