This post filed under: “Who really cares what I think anyway?” But seriously, these were THE BEST, and this would be the list of David nominated films if I had a say.
If the criteria is “the most Italian”, maybe I’m wrong, but if it’s “THE BEST’ in the most globally accepted, current, and comprehensive sense of the word, these 6 films should have been nominated for the Italian Academy Awards, The David di Donatello Awards.
And here’s why:
Youth is a masterpiece, but I don’t have to tell the David committee that; they already know. Paolo Sorrentino and his most recent English language film garnered 14 nominations. It stars Sir Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Paul Dano, Rachel Weisz and Jane Fonda.
La Bella Gente
Ivano De Matteo’s exceptional film centers around the privileged Alfredo and Susanna, on their way to their summer home in the Umbrian countryside. When spot a young prostitute along the side of the road who is getting slapped around by her pimp, Susanna, a counselor for abused women, is determined to help Nadja, a teenager from Ukraine.
After a couple of weeks of high-fiving each other for being awesome people and introducing her to family and friends, Susanna is confronted with the reality of their situation and takes a step back. The summer holiday dissolves into nasty remarks, angry outbursts, and suspicion.
But we’re still awesome; right? This is the question you’ll be asking yourselves after having seen this one.
Pecore In Erba
I have proof that Alberto Caviglia’s comedy about a “beloved” boy anti-semite is universally funny; I was at its Venice Film premiere and witnessed an audience full of folks from all over the world rolling in the aisles with laughter. It’s funny, no doubt about that, but it’s something else.
It’s smart. It’s modern. It’s the wave of the future. This is the direction I LOVE seeing Italian cinema going in. Apparently the David di Donatello award system agrees, because Caviglia’s been nominated for a David.
Watch for Pecore In Erba in US theaters later this year.
Il Racconto Dei Racconti
The Davids and I are also in agreement about Matteo Garrone and his super cool English language Tale of Tales. Based on old Neapolitan fairy tales from Giambattista Basile, Tale of Tales is colorful, imaginative, funny, and definitely not for children.
It’s exciting and even scary, with monsters. ogres, and witches popping out around every corner and has the most incredible cast, with Selma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, John C. Reilly, and Alba Rohrwacher.
Tale of Tales will be in theaters and on demand April 22!
This one is officially my favorite movie of 2015, and thank God, it’s being developed into a Netflix series, because I definitely want more of it.
In ancient Rome Suburra was a crowded lower-class area and a notorious red-light district near the Esquiline Hills but for the purposes of this film, it’s a symbol of purported crime, dirty politics, a not-so-holy Vatican in modern Rome. This one’s surely going to put those who are tired of films focusing on organized crime and Italy’s seedier side over the edge, but for those of us who love a thrilling, grisly crime story, we’re in luck.
Suburra isn’t a documentary and it isn’t meant to be educational or provide a factual account of news stories of contemporary Rome, but it does feel a little too authentic for comfort. Director Stefano 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.
Sangue Del Mio Sangue
It’s a complete mystery why Marco Bellocchio’s latest wasn’t more successful; it was a big hit at last year’s Venice Film Festival.
Spectacular in its ambiguity, Sangue Del Mio Sangue (Blood of my Blood) is creepy, gorgeous, horrifying and funny all at once in both of the stories that Bellocchio tells in it. In the first, a nun has seduced a priest and he was apparently so ashamed that he killed himself, so in order for his twin brother (Pier Giorgio Bellocchio) to avoid burying him in the “donkey cemetery”, it must be proven that the nun is a witch.
In the second, parallel and yet not at all parallel story, it is modern times and in the same location as the witch trial, the mysterious Count Basta (Roberto Hertlitzka), a vampire, has found a great place to hide. Basta acts as a sort of goulish godfather to the town, and since everybody has an interest in maintaining the status quo, when a Russian billionaire shows up interested in buying the decrepit prison, something must be done.
I can’t say I exactly “got it”, but I loved it anyway.