Sunny, hot summer days? Enough already! Come inside and watch these Italian mysteries.
In the middle of La Sconosciuta’s intrigue is Irina, a Ukrainian sex slave who has escaped to Italy in search of something and we are left guessing for a long time what that something is. She arrives in a northern Italian town with a big wad of cash, taking a terrible apartment, and intent on ingratiating herself in the lives of a rich Italian family that live across the street from her. We initially sympathize with her, but we become increasingly aware that she’s really bad news – on many fronts. She’s not going to let anything get in her way of reaching her goal – whatever that goal may be. Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and starring Kseniya Rappoport.
Also from Tornatore, La Migliore Offerta (The Best Offer) is a great whodunit starring Geoffrey Rush as an art auctioneer contacted by an heiress with some art that she’s interested in selling. He’s at first annoyed that she’ll only talk to him on the phone, then intrigued, and finally infatuated with the mystery surrounding her. In Oldman’s eyes, she’s the perfect woman; beautiful, contained, and something to acquire. His relationship with her and two other new friends change his world and open it up in ways he never could have imagined.
La Tulpa from director Federico Zampaglione stars Mrs. Zampaglione, Claudia Gerini is campy, sexy, mysterious fun. Claudia is Lisa Boeri, she’s a stockbroker who by night lets her hair down at a members-only sex club, Club Tulpa – a shady, members-only nightclub that promotes sex with strangers and spiritual enlightenment. Through ecstasy, the goal is to find your true inner self and show it a good time.
Lisa finds out two terrible things in one glance of a newspaper; her job may be in danger, but worse yet, all of her sexual partners are ending up murdered. She can’t admit how she knows these people,and didn’t really know them very well anyway since relationships outside the club are against the rules. She’s terrified, but she goes about trying to figure out who the pervert killer is on her own – and if she’s next.
La Ragazza Del Lago
La Ragazza del Lago (The Girl By The Lake) stars Toni Servillo as homicide detective Giovanni Sanzio who is in a small northern Italian town investigating the death of a beautiful young girl.
Stephen Amidon’s suspenseful novel, Human Capital, about upper crust Connecticut becomes Paolo Virzì’s story of upper crust northern Italy in this stunningly complex drama about money, families going haywire because of it, and a guy on a bike who, one dark snowy night loses his life.
La Doppia Ora has something that not many modern Italian movies have – a fear factor! There were a few things that made me jump right out of my seat, and I found myself covering my eyes. And it was done in the best kind of way; the threat was hidden in the shadows, waiting to jump out and say “boo” at any given moment.
It stars Kseniya Rappoport from La Sconosciuta and in that one, she plays a kind of “unknown woman”, one that has secrets. Her character, Sonia, meets Guido (Filippo Timi from “Vincere” and “The American”) speed dating and at first they appear to be a couple of poor damaged souls that gets lucky at another chance at love. It doesn’t take long to realize that in this movie, appearances are always deceiving.
La Scoperta Dell’Alba
In La Scoperta Dell’Alba, it’s Rome, 1981, and college professor Mario Tessandori is shot in broad daylight at school and dies in the arms of his best friend, Lucio Astengo. Within weeks, Lucio disappears into thin air, leaving behind a wife and two daughters.
Fast forward 30 years and Lucio’s wife has died, and the daughters, Caterina, played by Margherita Buy and Barbara, played by the director, Susanna Nicchiarelli are grown up and selling the family’s beach house. Caterina, packing away boxes of things from their childhood, finds that an old rotary phone there that not only still works, but has a dial tone; impossible, because the service has been cut off. She whimsically calls her family’s old telephone number in Rome and someone answers; a young girl’s voice on the other end is very familiar.