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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TIFF REVIEW: Loro [2018]

Him, Him? If you watch “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” you know Silvio Berlisconi. The Italian tycoon turned politician is mired in scandals, controversy, and populist excitement to the point of having a bizarre theme song declaring, “Thank Goodness for Silvio.” He smiles and waves, refuses to divest business interests while in office, and worked to enact laws that helped him and his friends become wealthier while also staying out of jail (mostly). It’s no surprise then that many say he set the precedent for the political chaos Donald…

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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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