Roberto Andò pits the International Monetary Fund against a mysterious monk played by Toni Servillo.
That director Roberto Andò’s movies are as satisfying as a good book is no mistake because Andò is also an author; his latest movie, Le Confessioni (The Confessions) is like a mystery novel that is impossible to put down.
Billed as a “thriller”, Le Confessioni is more a good old-fashioned whodunit, one that is staged in my favorite way; it’s got a big “Clue Game” cast of characters in forced seclusion at a picturesque luxury hotel by the sea plus a murder (or was it a suicide?). Everybody seems a little sinister, including the monk (Toni Servillo) who was invited by the rich and powerful director (Daniel Auteui) for reasons that no one’s quite sure of.
G8 organizers have taken over the resort for a summit and leaders from around the world are there to discuss their top-secret new plan for screwing poor people out of money. There are lessons here about power, money, and morality, but frankly, that’s not why I enjoyed Le Confessioni.
Turns out the monk is there for the sole purpose of hearing the director’s confession, and shortly after they meet the director’s found dead in his room. I was on the edge of my seat with all kinds of questions: Murder or suicide? And does it even matter, since the group is going to announce that it is one or the other based on which they feel will less severely impact the stock market. What’s the big secret that nobody wants to come out? What’s the monk hiding, and can anyone be trusted?
Tony Servillo has made a career playing guys that are unflappable, cool as cucumbers, but this is a different kind of serenity, one that comes from integrity instead of arrogance. As everyone around him frets and panics, insisting he tell them what the director shared with him the night he died, the monk is relaxed and composed in his resolve to keep the seal of the confessional.