IL DIVO: LA SPETTACOLARE VITA DI GIULIO ANDREOTTI (2008)

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The star: the spectacular life of Giulio Andreotti, Italian politician and seven time premier during the 1970′ and 1980’s.

Italian politics for the uninitiated is complex but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable and infotaining. Even without a working knowledge of the politics of the time one can still thoroughly enjoy this operatic slice of cinema.

There is a punk aesthetic that this film begins with, hitting the viewer with beautifully shot images of various political assassinations of the time. Consequently similarities arise in tone at times to Goodfellas especially in the way characters are introduced and subsequently disposed.

Il Divo confirms that Paolo Sorrentino is one of this generation’s greatest directors.
All his Italian films are incredible and thus far he has written not a note out of place.
Toni Servillo, his muse, delivers another great performance as Giulio Andreotti, studied, still and sublime. He is De Niro to Sorrentino’s Scorsese and secures his place in the top ten of my favourite actors working today.

The soundtrack is always a big part of Sorrentino’s films (like Scorsese) and the last tune of the film seems to encapsulate Andreotti perfectly. Luca Bigazzi, Sorrentino’s trusted cinematographer is back framing the shots with an artistic aesthetic.

A question.
Why is Fanny Ardant uncredited? I understand the lack of accreditation in La Grande Bellezza as that was literally fleeting but she has a nice scene early on in this film that warrants a credit. Everyone has their reasons for sure but it is a curiosity indeed.

There is a quote from Rosa Falasca Andreotti (Giulio’s mother) at the beginning of the film:

“SE NON POTETE PARLARE BENE DI UNA PERSONA, NON PARALTENE”

“If you cannot speak well of someone, don’t speak about them”

And while it is difficult to keep opinions to oneself when it comes to a major politician who supposedly works for you, the people, this quote is filled with a deep wisdom.

Remember, just because you don’t follow the minutiae doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.

4/5

BUY THE DVD HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FILM ON iTUNES HERE

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L’UOMO IN PIU ‘One Man Up’ (2001)

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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.

3.7/5

BUY IT ON DVD HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FILM ON iTUNES HERE