Paolo Sorrentino’s self assured debut is ‘master in the making’ look at life in the 80’s for two celebrities who share a name.
Toni Servillo is Antonio Pisapia, a singer at the height of his fame and Andrea Renzi is also an Antonio Pisapia, a football star also at the top of his game, the film charts their parallel journeys and gives us an insight into the superficial and ultimately dangerous side of fame.
Sorrentino flourishes his film with beautiful cinematography and allows music to be a major player in his stories. This elevates him from many first timers; his artistic eye and flair for dialogue and story-telling several notches above most.
This was Toni Servillo’s sixth film (according to IMDB) and he was already an award winning theatrical actor of great merit and he went on to work with Sorrentino several times after their first cinematic pairing to great acclaim. I have yet to see Il Divo but am greatly looking forward to it having only recently seen The Consequences of Love and La Grande Bellezza and adored them both.
Servillo has that Bill Murray trait of playing world weary wonderfully well, and here we see the beginning of that aspect of him that becomes one of his great strengths as an actor.
Beautiful, tragic and insightful, this debut is one to watch.