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Amazing Italian Film of life, love, corruption and talking statues,
This review is from: Garibaldi's Lovers [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is the latest from director Silvio Soldini who also brought us the rather good `Come Undone'. It is an unusual mix of ideas that somehow works. We meet widower and plumber Leo who is struggling with his teenage children, his son Elia and feisty daughter, Maddalena. He is partially helped in this by the ghost of his dead wife - whom only he can see.
His path crosses with that of a nasty, corrupt lawyer Malaffano - played brilliantly by Luca Zingaretti (`Inspector Montalbano' and `Cefalonia') who has employed a broke and struggling artist - Diana to paint a mural in his office. Leo sort of falls for her. Meanwhile his son has met an older man who he sort of befriends - Elia also has a relationship with a stork which he is prepared to steal food for. Add to the mix the Garibadi in the title in the form of a statue that adds a running commentary to the proceedings as well as entering into political discourse with other statues and you have a very unusual film indeed.
This is a commentary on modern life and can be seen as satirical and critical in part. It is also a story about how people interact and what we are capable of - both very good deeds and very dark ones. It is, as I have mentioned unusual, but it is also very entertaining, very well made - all the acting is superb and it has a stylish Élan which I love with Italian cinema. It is in Italian with a smattering of a few other languages thrown in and has very good subtitles. I received a review copy from Film Movement and as ever this presentation comes with a bonus short film called `The Kiosk' a rather sweet little film. This is both funny and touching and is one of those films that you will get more from on a subsequent viewing - I can absolutely recommend.