The ‘TOP 10 Lists’ are TBA, but here are MY FAVORITE MOVIE EXPERIENCES this year.
Marco Belloccio’s Sangue Del Mio Sangue (Blood Of My Blood) and Paolo Sorrentino’s La Giovinezza (Youth).
Just when I was starting to think of Marco Bellocchio as obsolete, as if to prove me crazy wrong, he comes out with the hugely entertaining and innovative Sangue Del Mio Sangue (Blood of my Blood). What’s it about? You tell me! I watched it for the first time at the Venice Film Festival and the audience seemed just as confused/delighted as I was.
Sangue Del Mio Sangue stars Roberto Herlitzka, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio and Alba Rohrwacher, and we’ll look for it in American theaters early next year.
Paolo Sorrentino proves that he’s still the king with La Giovinezza (Youth). Though reviews were wildly mixed, a movie as dynamic as this one is bound to unsettle a few people. Personally, I found it to be more poignant than contentious; it’s a masterpiece.
La Giovinezza is an English language film and stars Harvey Keitel, Michael Caine, Paul Dano, Rachel Weitz and Jane Fonda, and you won’t want to miss it when it comes to American theaters in December. (In New York City 12/4).
Cristina Comencinis Latin Lover and Alberto Caviglia’s Pecore In Erba.
A laugh out loud movie about antisemitism? You heard me; I have NEVER laughed so hard at the Venice Film Festival. Pecore in Erba is a rollicking and boisterously funny movie that lampoons hatred in fresh and surprising way.
Starring Davide Giordano, Anna Ferruzzo, Omero Antonutti, Bianca Nappi, Mimosa Campironi, Alberto Di Stasio and Lorenza Indovina, with clever cameos by Carolina Crescentini and Vinicio Marchioni, we’ll watch for this one in American theaters next year.
Cristina Comencini has been at this for awhile with great success, but her 2015 comedy Latin Lover is my favorite so far, in fact this is one of the best ensemble comedies I have seen in years, and Comencini’s dialogue is spot on. Virna Lisi (in her last performance before her death in December 2014), Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (Human Capital), Candela Peña (All About My Mother) and Angela Finocchiaro (Benvenuto al Sud) couldn’t be more natural as mother and sisters airing old slights, and though their family dynamics are unconventional, they seem real. Saverio himself, who never really understood why all those women were so crazy about him, is played by Francesco Scianna (Baarìa) who evokes old fashioned movie swoons from everyone in the film and us in the audience as well.
Latin Lover is funny and heartwarming, and the recreated vintage movie scenes are too much fun for words. If you are in the LA area, you can see Latin Lover next week at Cinema Italian Style.
Stefano Sollima’s Suburra.
Sollima took the “Mafia Capitale, a real-life scandal involving the Roman government and made it into a seriously cool movie with dark, violent and fascinating characters. It’s bloody, gritty, and authentic; the acting is simply amazing.
There’s Manfredi (Adamo Dionisi), the head of the gypsy loansharks, Number 8 (Alessandro Borghi), the “prince” of the Ostian underworld and Viola (Greta Scarano), his drug-addict girlfriend, Malgradi (Pierfrancesco Favino), the dirty politician, Sebastiano (Elio Germano), the nightclub owner,and the ‘Samurai’ (Claudio Amendola) the powerful boss that pulls all of their strings.
The good news? You can watch Suburra RIGHT NOW THIS VERY MINUTE on Netflix!
Laura Bispuri’s Vergine Giurata (Sworn Virgin) and Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre.
For Italians that may not be familiar with the expression “ugly cry”, it’s when you are in a situation (like watching a movie in a movie theater) and you lose control of yourself crying. Facial muscles contort, mascara runs, your sobbing sounds a little like you are choking, and if you are in a movie theater, you have to put on your sunglasses before you can walk out where people can see you.
I had a really good ugly cry watching Laura Bispuri’s Vergine Giurata.
In Albania, Hana’s life is dictated by the tradition of her northern Albanian homeland. There, women can’t hold a man’s job, smoke, drink, or carry firearms, UNLESS, they give up their femininity. For a variety of different reasons (and I am guessing homosexuality is one of them) women can renounce their gender, and live as men, but they must swear to remain virgins.
Starring Alba Rohrwacher and Flonja Kodheli, Bispuri has promised that you’ll be able to have your own ugly cry in American theaters next year.
Just in case you ever doubted Margherita Buy’s talent as an actress and were getting tired of seeing her with all those Best Actress awards, hang on – Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre will change your mind.
Already a master auteur, this is Nanni Moretti’s best work ever, a perfectly balanced, artfully told story about grief, loss, and self-reflection. Nothing maudlin here, and though it is at times achingly sad, it’s not a cheesy tear-jerker. Moretti’s script and Buy’s performance as Margherita, the film director, put the viewer solidly into the story as observation turns to meditation. Buy’s character is the modern everyman; self-absorbed, impatient, and a bit removed from relationships in her life.
Mia Madre opens in New York City on Friday.