The year is winding down and it’s time to reflect, and though it may seem strange that an American lady with not one drop of Italian blood is going to make bold evalutations about Italian films, I can tell you that I’ve seen at least ten times more of them than the Italians I know have seen. And anyway, I’m going to do it and there’s nothing anybody can really do to talk me out of it, so let me just say this: It was a very satisying year for me ( as far as Italian cinema goes and as for the rest of my year – don’t ask.)
So who owns Italian cinema 2011? Is it Emanuele Crialese, with his Terraferma, on the table right now in Hollywood waiting to for them to decide if they think it’s good enough for an Oscar nomination? ( It is.) Crialese made timely subject matter timeless in a visually gorgeous movie that is void of any trendiness that other directors might have capitalized on. With a stunning cast (most notably Donatella Finocchiaro and Filippo Pucillo ) he transported the Venice Film Festival to Lampadusa and was awarded the Special Jury Prize, the Pacinotti Prize, and the UNICEF award, all for best film. ( It had been nominated for the Golden Lion.) I absolutely loved Terraferma and wrote about it HERE.
Or maybe it’s Nanni Moretti’s year, whose Habemus Papum, We have a pope, made a pretty big splash with a nomination for the Palme d’or at Cannes, and recieved Nastro d’argento wins for best director and for best original story. Moretti got some flack for this movie – some thought he’d insulted the Vatican and some were disappointed that he hadn’t insulted it enough. Instead, Moretti just told a really good story about a man, the Pope, with an identity crisis. This one is available on DVD in Italy (order it for your region free or zone 2 player from ibs.it ) and Sundance has bought the US rights so maybe we’ll see more of it here in the states. In the meantime, read my review HERE.
Or is does the year belong to Checco, the funny young man who made Che Bella Giornata and knocked La Vita è Bella off the top of the record books when it became Italy’s top grossing movie of all time. I’m not gonna lie – I love Checco Zalone and think that this guy has not yet reached his full potential. Read about it HERE.
Over the next few days I’m going to look at it all; the good, the bad, the ugly, the overlooked and the new to DVD and give my thoughts on the state of the Italian film industry – what are the best italian movies of 2011?
Your thoughts are, as ever, appreciated!