Here’s the trouble with Ferzan Ozpetek – he’s always walking a few steps behind the vanguard.
If Italy was a closed society, untouched by and unaware of Hollywood and movies made by other countries, this wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but Italians aren’t cut off from foreign films. I can’t imagine that the themes that Ozpetek are new to many of them, so in trying to tell stories that have been told before and better in the US. He ends up making movies that seem like Lifetime movies – Americans know all about these. Lifetime movies are made for TV movies in America that take stuff in the news and tell stories about them with clichés and without saying anything new about the topic. For instance, there are dozens of Lifetime movies about drug abuse, anorexia, and domestic violence. Ozpetek’s “Un Giorno Perfetto” is a movie about domestic violence that would make an excellent Lifetime movie.
Un Giorno Perfetto, A Perfect Day, is a 2008 movie (from the book written by Melania Gaia Mazzucco) starring Isabella Ferrari and Valerio Mastandrea. It’s about Emma and Antonio, husband and wife that have been separated for a year ever since Emma got the courage to move out – Antonio had been beating her up. Antonio’s a tough guy – he’s a bodyguard by profession and had a hard time turning off the aggression at home.
Ozpetek does in this movie what he does in all his movies and I often don’t like – too much. It’s not like a film with parallel stories can’t work, but Ozpetek doesn’t always pull it off. In Un Giorno Perfetto, he tells another family’s story, Antonio’s boss’s, Elio (Played by Valerio Binasco – Noi Credevamo). Elio’s life is falling apart and his son is sleeping with his wife.His story, which is meant to compliment the one about domestic abuse, seems tacked on and superfluous. What’s the theme – love? Violent love, forbidden love, love for a child, dependent love, sexual love – icky love. The subject is too broad.
And then, as Ozpetek likes to do, he creates these satellite characters all played by wonderful actresses that have been wasted in silly roles, Emma’s daughter’s teacher, her mother, played by Stefania Sandrelli and a paramedic, played Angela Finocchiaro.
There’s something here that Ozpetek has missed – it’s a good story and it was probably a good novel. I like the idea of telling what has happened to all these people in a 24 hour period – a “perfect” day. It’s just a very imperfect movie.