Sunday, March 21, 2010


By D.E.Levine

A New Directors/New Films 2010 Selection

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Writers: Luca Guadagnino, Barbara Alberti, Ivan Cotroneo and Walter Fasano
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbirllini, Alba Rohrwacher, Pippo Delbono, Diane Flori, Maria Paiato, Marisa Berenson, Waris Ahluwalia and Gsabriele Ferzetti
Producers: Luca Guadagnino, Francesco Metzi d'Eril, Marco Moribito, Tilda Swinton, Alessandro Usai and Massimilano Violante
Executive Producer: Christopher Granier-Deferre (UK)
Associate Producers: Carlo Antonelli and Silvia Venturini Fendi
Line Producer: Viola Prestieri
Original Music: John Adams
Running Time: 119 Minutes
Country of Origin: Italy
Language: Italian with English subtitles
Genre: Romance, Drama, Tragedy

This is an ambitious and beautifully photographed film showing elaborate excesses in both scenery and lifestyles.

Tilda Swinton, looking younger and better than in most of her latest films. Here she plays Emma Rechhi, a Russian woman who married into the Recchi family, an Italian textile manufacturing clan.

The family lives and works in Milan, living a life of luxury and excess. Emma's three children are typical children of privilege and all are leaving home either for marriage or school. Only the oldest, Edoardo, the heir, appears passionate about the business. The others just like and do a good job of spending the money.

Emma is the perfect wife, entertaining lavishly and devoting herself to her children, husband and parents-in-law. She's also bored and as the children depart she becomes more bored.

When Emma meets Antonio, a humble chef who is opening a restaurant with Edoardo, she feels new passion such that she hasn't known in years.

Faced with a daughter who comes out as a lesbian, a fact to be hidden from the family; the sale of the family business to foreigners after the patriarch's death; and no job or hobby of her own, Emma falls for the younger Antonio and is in a sense reawakened from years of being frigid and aloof.

This passion that she feels leads her through Milan and the countryside of Sanremo where it can only be said she seeks out and follows Antonio, appearing to bump into him accidentally.

However, it is this very awakening of passion that brings about the tragic ending climax.

In addition to the brilliant photography, the soaring score lends drama to the scenes and audience emotions.

The film is intriguing and well crafted but the ending is oddly disappointing and somewhat rushed and even unbelievable after the long, leisurely pace of the film.