The list is short. It was a very good year.
Are these the worst ever? Hardly. As long as Fabrizio Biggio and Francesco Mandelli are making movies, Vittorio and Paolo Taviani will never land in last place. I don’t expect much from movies like I Soliti Idioti, but I do expect more from the Taviani Brothers
Maraviglioso Boccaccio (Wondrous Boccaccio), the Taviani brothers’ adaptation of Boccaccio’s ‘Decameron,’ couldn’t have been any more frustrating. It had everything going for it: a) a classic story full of sex and humor, b) a killer cast (Paola Cortellesi, Carolina Crescentini, Flavio Parenti, Vittoria Puccini, Michele Riondino, Kim Rossi Stuart, Riccardo Scamarcio, Kasia Smutniak, Jasmine Trinca, just to name a few) and, c) the perfect filming location (Certaldo Alto, Boccacio’s birthplace).
I’m sure my college professors made the Decameron seem more interesting than the Tavianis did. This film version was more like an educational cartoon for children.
A remake of a French film from the ’60s, A Bigger Splash is an English language film that premiered at last summer’s Venice Film Festival
Sometimes I think there may be too many movies about vapid, rich people who are their own worst enemies but in the end, come out basically OK because they are rich. Did we need a remake of La Piscine? I’m not so sure.
In director Luca Guadagnino’s defense, he assembled a winning cast, with Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Dakota Johnson playing their parts with every inch of creepy weirdness they could pull out of themselves.
For me, the psychosexual aspect of the film is meaningless; any pain the characters caused or received seems, well, deserved. And in the end when someone dies, it’s a little like, “Oh my, well, look at that. I guess I’m not surprised.”