Qualcosa Di Nuovo
Director Cristina Comencini’s comedy with an ever so slightly mid-life crisis stars the adorable Paola Cortellesi as Lucia and the amazing Michela Ramazzotti as Maria, two BFF cougars who meet an hook up with high schooler Luca, played by Eduardo Valdarnini. Before meeting Luca, Lucia has shut herself off to the possibility of love after a big heartbreak, and Maria had been falling into bed with everybody she met ever since her messy divorce.
Could the answer to their prayers be sex with a teenage boy? Wait until you see!
Fiore feels like a portrait, a snapshot, or chapter 3 in a book read independently, without ever having read chapters one and two and never having a chance to know the ending. In it, a teenager named Daphne is pretty much alone in the world and getting by stealing cellphones by robbing people at knifepoint. It was only a matter of time before she’s caught and sent to a juvenile detention center.
Daphne is an adolescent combination of rage, depression, and childlike girliness, chain smoking, getting into tussles with the other girls, and mooning over a guy in the boy’s section. What she is longing for in her life is unclear, probably because she’s not used to getting anything of value or having anything go her way.
In Guerra Per Amore
Pif, Pierfrancesco Diliberto’s first film La Mafia Uccide Solo D’Estate (The Mafia Only Kills In The Summer) taught us about the Sicilian mafia just before the famous Maxi Trial, when Sicilian prosecutors indicted 475 mafiosi for crimes relating to Mafia activities. His newest film, In Guerra Per Amore, Pif offers a prequel of sorts, an explanation of how the mafia was able a stronghold over the Italian Island in the first place.
Pif, a director, writer and Italian TV stars as Arturo, a charming rom-com with a historical fiction story. It’s 1943 and as World War II rages in Europe, Palermo native Arturo is in New York City working as a waiter. His sweetheart Flora (Miriam Leone) has been promised to the son of an important New York Mafia boss, and to stop the wedding, he joins the army and goes to Sicily in search of Flora’s father in hopes to ask for her hand in marriage.
Eighteen-year-old conjoined twins Dasy and Viola (twins Angela and Marianna Fontana) have been supporting their family ever since Papà figured out they could sing, and he and Mamma couldn’t have been wasting the girls’ hard-earned money any more efficiently if that’s what they’d set out to do. The beautiful girls have singing voices to match, and can earn as much as 80,000€ a year performing at weddings and first holy communions; the fact that they are part pop stars and part side-show geeks make them all the more marketable.
La Pazza Gioia
La Pazza Gioia has its super fun similarities but this is not a Thelma and Louise remake. Two mental hospital roommates break out and hit the road so yes, it’s #roadtripmovie and it’s #buddymovie and it’s #chickflick, but it’s so much more. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Micaela Ramazzotti are fantastic and I find myself in a position that I’m never in; unable to find fault with a movie.
As the consistently goofy Ferro and his (already at this young age) world-weary girlfriend Cate settle unrealistically into their situation, a teenage pregnancy, they set off an explosion that cause never-ending shock waves for Ferro’s long-suffering parents. Ferro hasn’t been the easiest child, and this is just one more thing for them to have to deal with; they don’t even seem that surprised (expect when wondering how their son got a nice girl like Cate.)
Perfectly cast, this authentically constructed family is one that will win the hearts of Italian audiences, and hopefully North American ones as well.
When a young man played by Daniele Parisi wakes up with an irritating ringing in his ears and a message taped to the refrigerator saying “your friend Luigi is dead”, he sets out to make the ringing stop and figure out who Luigi is. Filmed in black and white, Orecchie is classically dark humor with a postmodern hero who has grown world-weary.
Maybe it was the nun’s observation that his girlfriend’s smile didn’t turn up enough at the corners that began to wake him up from his Kafkaesque nightmare, or maybe he was just tired of being bored, but Alessandro Aronadio’s “guy” is willing to entertain the idea that he’s been mistaking compromise for acceptance, and that rolling his eyes at all of the “dumb” people in the world “doesn’t make him more intelligent, just more unhappy.”