I recently saw this at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. This film picked up three prestigious Donatello Awards (Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Screenplay) in Italy and is that country's official submission to the 83rd Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category. The story begins in the 1971 when Anna (Michella Ramazzotti), the beautiful wife of Mario (Sergio Albelli) wins a local Mrs. beauty pageant. The jealous Mario eventually throws out Anna and their two children and so begins their journey throughout this film that leads to the present day where the older Anna (Stefania Sandrelli) is dying and her daughter Valeria (Claudia Pandolfi) coaxes her brother Bruno (Valerio Mastanrea), now a professor who has a drug problem and has become estranged from his mother and sister, to pay his last respects while Anna is still alive. Told in a series of flashbacks to the past interwoven very smartly with the present this is a clever film and story with lots of wit and charm and a great cast. Also stars Fabriza Sacchi as Sandra, Anna's estranged sister. Anna stole Sandra's boyfriend Mario and when Mario and Anna split he returned to Sandra. There are lots of interesting subplots and a great supporting cast including the young actors who play Bruno and Valeria in childhood and as teenagers. Paolo Virzi directs this film and his real-life wife Ramazzotti in a family friendly manner where violence and sex are implied and not gratuitous. Nicely shot by veteran cameraman Nicola Pecorini in his feature film debut as a cinematographer. Film veterans Production Designer Tonino Zera, Set Decorator Donato Tieppo and Costume Designer Gabriella Pescucci have a clever collective eye for detail in recreating the flashback scenes of the 1970's and blend them seamlessly with the look of present day with the help of Film Editor Simone Manetti. Writer/Director Virzi wrote the original story for film with the intention of making it seem like it was adapted from a novel help of co-screenwriters Francesco Bruni and Francesco Picolo. Virzi and Ramazzotti were on hand at my screening for a Q&A. I would give this an 8.5 out of 10 and recommend it.
- Jan 10, 2011
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