Giulia Non Esce La Sera ( English title : “Giulia doesn’t date at night”) is yet another chance to take a look at what modern Italian cinema has to offer. It’s directed by Giuseppe Piccione (“La Vita Che Vorrei”, “Luce dei miei Occhi”) and stars Valeria Golino, an actress at whom I have promised to take a fresh look.
I haven’t always been a huge fan of Valeria Golino. She’s one of the most successful crossover actresses in Italy today, having starred in Hollywood movies like “Rain Man” and “Frida”, but I’ve always prefered others like Margherita Buy. But Buy’s the one that once pointed out that she always admired Golino because she had what it took to go to Hollywood. Maybe I haven’t given Golino the credit that I should have and have not understood the barriers that she’d have crossed to be successful here in the states.
I enjoyed “Giulia Non Esce La Sera” but I found Golino, even in this good movie, a little one-dimensional, a little too much like she is in every film I’ve seen her in. But it is a good movie.
It’s about Giulia, a woman who is in prison for murdering her lover when he threatened to leave her. She had abandoned her husband and daughter for this man and when the movie begins, she has 7 years left on her sentence and is on daytime work release as a swimming instructor.
She meets Guido (Valerio Mastrandrea from “La Prima Bella Cosa”), an indifferent writer who’s been nominated for a literary award and seems not to care about it at all. He’s married and indifferent about that too, and navigates his day-to-day existence in a dull fog, thinking about a new book that he’s trying to write and not getting very far. When he meets Giulia something in him is awakened; he seems willing to risk everything for her.
Sometimes I wonder if looking at an Italian movie with an American eye affects my perception of it and makes me miss the point that the writer has intended: this may be the case in “Giulia Non Esce La Sera”. Am I supposed to feel sorry for Guido? Am I supposed to believe that he is justified in what he does to his family and what he tries to do for Giulia? I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get anything valuable from it.
I’m not sure, but if Italians see this as a love story, I see it as a movie about lost opportunities and stupid choices. I saw Giudo as a self-absorbed twit whose attempt to write a script for everyone around him resulted in nothing but disaster.
As for Valeria Golino, she’s just beautiful, and not a terrible actress in the least. I would say that her range is not wide and that I wish that she’d mix it up a little, giving us more than just that pouty, troubled look that is too often on her face.
This is a good one; it’s available for rent or purchase in America with English subtitles.
Director: Giuseppe Piccioni
Writers: Giuseppe Piccioni, Federica Pontremoli
Stars: Valerio Mastandrea, Valeria Golino and Sonia Bergamasco