How lucky was I, to be in the audience on the Lido, at Venice 73, sharing a warm and fuzzy movie moment with director Roan Johnson, his exuberant cast, and a thoroughly entertained audience at the world premier of Leone d’Oro nominate Piuma?
No hyperboles what-so-ever; I have never in my life seen such a positive reaction to a film. The laughter flowed like Aperol Spritz, and I lost count of how many times the audience applauded throughout the movie. The ovation at the end was positively joyous.
It didn’t end up winning the Golden Lion, but that hardly mattered to Johnson; he was aware that some were saying that a comedy shouldn’t have been in the running. He knew he had a great film on his hands.
Teens Ferro and Cate deal with an unexpected pregnancy, but this film is not intended as a cautionary tale for young people; Johnson told me that it’s meant as a wake up call for us all. Things happen all the time that we don’t expect, and we have to be ready to deal with them.
As the consistently goofy Ferro ( Luigi Fedele) and his (already at this young age) world-weary girlfriend Cate (Blu Yoshimi) settle unrealistically into their “situation”, 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.)
Ferro’s dad, played by Sergio Pierattini, is a hilarious father-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown, (“Please, just kill me now”).
“Should I tell Cate?” Ferro asks his dad, when he screws up big time with something completely unrelated in the eighth month of pregnancy.
“NO!” Dad tells him, “Don’t tell her, or your mother, or anybody. I wish you hadn’t told me! Next time, just tell me bullshit, like you did when you got suspended from school for five days.”
Ferro’s mom is played by the award-winning actress Michela Cescon, and Francesco Colella plays Cate’s “no-help-at-all” father.
Canadians do not miss this charming story of love, family, and growing up.