Looking back, Venice 71 was simply amazing, with many memorable performances.
The best? Fabrizio Ferracane delivered an astonishingly honest depiction of Luciano, the brother who wants no part of his family’s criminal enterprises but is losing his son to them in Francesco Munzi’s Anime Nere (Black Souls). Seething with rage that is almost never not about to erupt, Fabrizio is the driving force of a spectacular film.
The ensemble of actors (Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessandro Gassman, Barbora Bobulova and Giovanna Mezzogiorno) in Ivano De Matteo’s I Nostri Ragazzi (The Dinner) is so perfect that it would be impossible to say who gave the strongest performance, but we can start with Barbora Bobulova, as Sofia the “Barbie” wife and stepmother who will do literally anything to support her husband and step-daughter. Barbora perfectly embodies the breezily friendly but pampered and careless “outsider”.
The film also has Alessandro Gassman in his performance to date, adding a surprising complexity to Massimo, Sofia’s husband, the wealthy attorney who makes his money not caring if his clients are innocent or guilty.
Luigi Lo Cascio is just crazy good (no surprise here) as Massimo’s brooding “shorter” brother, who can’t keep his contempt for Massimo and his wife hidden for very long.
Paolo’s wife, Clara, is played by the Anna Magnani of the 21st century, Giovanna Mezzogiorno.
Everybody in this film is perfect, collectively and individually, and this film will be available to us in the USA later this year.
You know I love Alba Rohrwacher but I LOVED her capital “L” in Saverio Costanzo’s Hungry Hearts. As the mysterious young wife from Italy, Alba goes from sweet to deranged so effortlessly that frankly, I’m a little worried about her. Kidding.
And finally don’t forget about Greta Scarano Tania in Michele Alhaique’s Senza Nessuna Pietà (Without Pity). Greta is a rising star and a natural talent that is destined for greatness, and as Tania, she does something that the late director Sydney Pollack said that only the best actors could pull off: playing someone less intelligent and less sophisticated than themselves.