North American Premiere, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, Film Society at Lincoln Center
Friday, June 3, 6:15pm (Q&A with Laura Morante)
Monday, June 6, 2:00pm
It’s clear that I haven’t sufficiently appreciated Laura Morante. Don’t misunderstand me; she was one of the Italian actresses that first attracted me to contemporary Italian movies and I’ve always been in awe of her work in Nanni Moretti’s La Stanza Del Figlio (The Son’s Room) and Gabriele Muccino’s Ricordati Di Me (Remember Me My Love).
I’ve always known she was talented, but lately I’ve become a little obsessed with her, and I think I know why; she used to be a little old school, but she’s not any more. Her performances in Ogni Maledetto Natale (Every Damned Christmas), Se Dio Vuole (God Willing), and particularly Assolo (Solo), prove that she’s solidly part of the new wave of Italian cinema.
Written by, directed by and starring in Assolo, Morante delivers that WOW product you aren’t expecting. In it, she’s Flavia, twice divorced with two sons. In the opening scene she describes a dream she’s been having: all the men in her life are at her wake, talking about how needy, boring, and easy to move on from she’d been.
“How long could it last with Flavia?”, one husband asked the other, talking about her most recent relationship.
“Two or three months…until you realize you’re doing all the work.”
For me, Assolo isn’t even mostly about Flavia and her inability to thrive in relationships. It’s not about relationships in general, or even about women who are alone. Assolo is about what it is like to be a women, or more specifically, a woman who is not in her twenties anymore.
It’s not an issue for everyone; as a matter of fact it seemed like the other women in her world were managing post-30 life just fine. But Assolo’s about Flavia’s perceptions, fair or not, her memories, her nightmares, and her insecurities.
Laura Morante has never been better. Always one of Italy’s top actresses, she’s moved on from the at times over-wrought over-acting of the 80s that many of her contemporaries still favor; with these recent sensitive, subtle, lovely performances, she’s a proven member of the “New Wave of Italian Cinema Club.”