I have such high hopes and I don’t like disappointments; I’m the Italian film industry’s biggest cheerleader. While there was a lot celebrate in 2012, there were some low moments:
This Must Be The Place – The biggest disappointment, overshadowing all others is for Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘This Must Be The Place’. There were big plans for this English language film starring Sean Penn and Frances McDormand, the story of an aging rock star who goes on a Nazi hunt across mid-America. And what happened to the film, that originally had people talking about an Oscar for Penn? Hell if I could find out. Plans for wide distribution last fall were dropped and very few in the US ended up having the chance to see it.
Bella Addormentata – A disappointment for me, if for no one else, was Marco Bellocchio’s ‘Bella Addormentata’, or Dormant Beauty, the English title. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and I was there, with the whole cast and Bellocchio, too. And what a cast: The talents of Toni Servillo, Alba Rohrwacher, Maya Sansa, Isabelle Huppert, and Michele Riondino were wasted in this self-indulgent, disappointing film about euthanasia. Italians talked about hopes for Bella Addormentata winning the film festival, but it never had a chance.
To Rome With Love – It’s not an Italian movie, but its leading lady was Rome itself, and many of the costars were some of my favorite Italian actors. Flavio Parenti, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Antonio Albanese were little more than Italian clichés in Woody Allen’s tribute turned insult to the Eternal City. Though it wasn’t the disaster that many people deemed it, it was a disappointment. Allen misunderstood Rome and missed his mark.
I Soliti Idioti – Though it was released in December of 2011, I’ll call this one of the most unfortunate films watched in 2012 as well. Earning 11 million euro at the box office? Give me a break! This racist, misogynistic movie is a disgrace and should have been boycotted. It offends, as I’ve said before, just about everyone.