REVIEW: È stata la mano di Dio [The Hand of God] [2021]

Don’t come undone. When an athlete as good as Diego Maradona arrives in your hometown to play for the home team, you’ll have to forgive the fans who embrace the awe and excitement with a hyperbolic notion that their own lives have been forever changed. When Alfredo (Renato Carpentieri) turns to young Fabietto Schisa (Filippo Scotti) amidst rumors that Maradona is heading to Naples and says he’ll kill himself if they don’t turn out to be true, we believe him. This is a family marked by mean-spirited but loving insults,…

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REVIEW: Youth [2015]

“Levity is an irresistible temptation” What strange beauty writer/director Paolo Sorrentino finds within the sadness of his palatial Swiss Alps resort’s inhabitants in Youth. The story plays like a surrealistic existential revelation—the aftermaths of each character’s crisis as they discover exactly who they are in the midst of tragic knowing. Age transforms bodies and minds into a monotonous amalgam of flesh and fatigue, years worn as wrinkles and memory gaps while ego remains untouched except by the grace of but a single reveler who truly gets who we are when…

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REVIEW: La grande bellezza [The Great Beauty] [2013]

“She took a step back and said …” On quick reflection exiting the theater post-La grande bellezza [The Great Beauty], I came to the simplified but apt conclusion it felt like The Great Gatsby by way of Holy Motors. Here’s a man, Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), who explains right off the bat that he’d choose the smell of old peoples’ houses over the chance to get laid and yet we watch him dance the night away with a drink in his hand amongst Rome’s pompously self-important, faux aristocratic elite on…

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