Who cares what I think? Maybe no one, but when did that ever stop me from saying what I think about Italian Cinema? If you disagree, bring it on! Tell us what you think.
Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) is so beloved, I know that I will raise the ire of the Gods for this one, but Tornatore’s latest English language film, The Correspondence (La Corrispondenza) was a major disappointment.
In it, Jeremy Irons is a celebrated astrophysicist and Olga Kurylenko is Amy, his student in the midst of a May-December love affair. That would have been one thing, but a teacher-student one is rather another, especially if the teacher is a full 30 years older. Jeremy Irons is handsome, even in his old age, but this movie’s unlikely affair makes him seem sufficiently creepy. If their relationship had been more age appropriate and not quite so parent-child, it would have been slightly less terrible.
And couldn’t these two have been just a little more like normal people? She’s a beautiful, artistic and brilliant grad student who also works as a stuntwoman and he’s a famous, sophisticated, astrophysicist; they steal their precious, forbidden moments at out-of-the-way Italian villas (blah,blah, blah). I’m sure that this serves as the plot of a few successful romance novels, but if La Corrispondenza had been a little more realistic, it would have been slightly less terrible.
An unexplained Ukrainian accent, corny love texts, messages sent and received under mysterious circumstances that in reality aren’t so much mysterious as they are completely implausible, and a completely unbelievable series of events are all, simply, unsupportable.
I know, I know, I am inviting serious trouble by criticizing Verdone and Albanese, but hear me out.
I love all kinds of silly comedies, and this comedy of errors is likeable enough, certainly not hate-worthy, like a Francesco Mandelli and Fabrizio Biggio movie.
I am fully aware that L’abbiamo Fatta Grossa was one of the top grossing movies in Italy in 2016, but for me, it fell flat. These guys are obviously talented actors with long and respectable careers, but comedy in Italian cinema is changing, and they aren’t changing with it.
I’m American, I don’t count, but Verdone and Albanese were running around in silly costumes, doing pratfalls, and pretending to be gay, and I wasn’t laughing.
Once again, 2016 brought bitter disappointment when Italian films that I watched and wrote about never ended up in American theaters. Films like Alberto Caviglia’s Pecore In Erba, Michele Alhaique’s Senza Nessuna Pietà, and practically every movie ever made by the amazing Paola Cortellesi would be welcome with open arms, had they ever been distributed. Instead, we get practically unwatchable movies like Paolo Franchi’s È La Chiamano Estate.