Il Divo (2009)
Critic Consensus: While the web of corruption in this Italian political thriller can be hard for a non-native to follow, the visuals and the intrigue are compelling and thrilling in equal measure.
Award-winning filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (The Family Friend) writes and directs this cinematic portrait of seven-time Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti, whose controversial legacy peaked when he was tried for Mafia ties and subsequently acquitted. A leader with close ties to the Vatican, Andreotti was also tried and acquitted for the murder of an Italian journalist, and remains a senator for life.
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as Giulio Andreotti
as Livia Andreotti
as Eugenio Scalfari
as Franco Evangelisti
as Paolo Cirino Pomicin...
as Salvo Lima
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Critic Reviews for Il Divo
The film takes flight on the brilliant title performance by Tony Servillo (Gomorrah), who plays Andreotti like a mummified Alec Guinness, as if encased in layers of plaster of Paris.
We may not know the man, but we know the dance, as seen in the highly diverting and hugely controversial Il Divo, a biopic as wly as its subject.
After I saw Il Divo, I suppose I should have felt indignation. I suppose I should also have felt that way after "The Godfather." But such films present such mesmerizing figures that I simply regard them, astonished.
The enigmatic Andreotti is the perfect subject for a biopic in the European tradition.
All in all, this phenomenal film illustrates Alexis de Tocqueville's observation that "The people get the government they deserve." In both meanings of the word, Il Divo is sensational.
Audience Reviews for Il Divo
A brilliant film based on the complex and enigmatic character of Andreotti, and Italy itself. The Italian political scene during the Christian Democrats' reign was rife with clientelism, corruption and terrorism. Servillo's portrait of Andreotti is appropriately ambiguous and opaque. The primary strength of this film is Sorrentino's masterful direction, settings, framing, film composition and montage. Plus, any film that can successfully incorporate Trio's 'da da da' into a soundtrack predominately composed of classical music deserves commendation. Bravo!!!
Excellent music/sound editing and a deft portrayal by Toni Servillo that is at once comical and sad. Not being at all familiar with Andreotti's reign of terror, I was pretty confused by all the courtroom/arbitration scenes, but I gather that that's kinda what the filmmakers were going for, at least for the non-Italian audience. There are no scenes that directly implicate Andreotti's involvement with the Mafia, and that kinda gels with the film's title, The Divine, as if to say, he was that untouchable. His foes would simply disappear without him having to lift a finger.
Sorrentino delivers another imaginative, original take on a potentially dry topic. I couldn't claim to understand all the ins and outs of the Italian politics on show, or their veracity, but he pulls you through with his visual invention.
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