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Il Divo Reviews

Page 1 of 24
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

October 17, 2011
What an astonishing biopic. Only in Italy, with their rather dubious politics could a film like this be made but Paolo Sorrentino has got some front to openly accuse the former-prime minister and powerful figurehead of some horrendous crimes. This is a good thing though, we need more directors like Sorrentino. Italy is rich with confident filmmakers though, Matteo Garrone took just as many risks directing Gomorrah as Roberto Saviano did writing it. Could they be the next Pier Paolo Pasolini & Federico Fellini? My answer is yes, because not only did they simplify a complicated storeys, they also filmed them beautifully. IL Divo is dripping with Italian style, every frame has been planed meticulously and everyone is like a Edward Hopper painting. The story and visuals slow down slightly in the second half but that is when Toni Servillo's Giulio Andreotti really comes alive, the slightest expression creating suspense, intrigue an genuine excitement. This is an awesome film, Phyllida Lloyd should take note with her upcoming film about the life and career of Margaret Thatcher, although I wont hold my breath, not after Mama Mia anyway.
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

June 20, 2010
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!!!
Alice S

Super Reviewer

February 14, 2010
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.

Super Reviewer

October 18, 2009
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.

Super Reviewer

June 8, 2009
"Il Divo" is a stylish political thriller about Giulio Andreotti(Toni Servillo), the seven-time Prime Minister of Italy, starting in the late 1980's. On the surface, he does not look like a powerful man, as he is short of stature with a perpetual slouch forward.(If you want to go the megalomania route, there is a white cat.) But appearances can be deceiving as he gives away very little as far as emotions are concerned. In fact, the only time he loses control is after the murder of Aldo Moro, his moderate rival in the Christian Democrats by the Red Brigades. It should come as no surprise that Moro and Communism haunt him.

All of which might explain Andreotti's migraine headaches which he has long sought relief for. He sends one medicine that showed promise to a journalist who dies shortly after. It is not the medicine nor the headaches that kill him. It is a gunshot. It is not simply intimidation that lies behind Andreotti's power, but in how it is practiced. Of course he cannot be directly or openly involved, because that could lead to a loss of power. At least, that is what is alleged.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

January 26, 2011
I'm sorry, and I am obviously in a tiny minority here, but I found Il Divo, largely, incredibly tedious, frustrating, annoying. No amount of camera trickery, pop music interludes, fast cutaways or 3D inter titles can disguise the fact that this is a laborious, boring affair. The huge amount of characterless characters is my biggest problem, with - for a long time - practically every 60 seconds a new person being introduced and then barely seen again. I'm a huge admirer of Paolo Sorrentino's previous films but really was not feeling this one at all, and it was a real chore to get through. I didn't find it comedic, tragic or exciting, just snoozeworthy.

Super Reviewer

November 4, 2009
One of the best biopics I have ever seen.
July 6, 2014
Sorrentino navigates Italy's tumultuous political landscape, in this sublimely directed, fascinating docudrama, featuring a performance of restrained power from Toni Servillo.
June 28, 2010
wow. this is something. the actors are excellent and the music choice and placement gives the film an extra kick. it's truly interesting to see the iltalian political world in this manner. i can't claim to know anything about it, but it's really striking to watch it play out. if you watch this, make sure you understand what the different meanings are for the hand gestures. it'll drive you crazy later if you forget one.
March 13, 2010
Very interesting presentation of the late life of Italian statesman Giulio Andreotti. Director Sorrentino demands much of his audience and the film's plot can be overwhelming when keeping up with subtitles. But Andreotti remains an enigma from start to finish and I really can't say enough about the film-making.
Face of Canada
March 6, 2011
Loud, emotional, and undeniably Italian, Il Divo is refreshingly original in terms of its presentation. However, the onslaught of names and references are indeed incredibly difficult for the non-native to follow, and some of the cuts between scenes are jarring, although whether this is intentional or not is up to debate. Otherwise, its a crisp, clean, appropriately shocking film.
February 22, 2014
Very interesting film but I doubt that Andreotti was connected to all those Mafia murders. The soundtrack is good.
barone r.
February 18, 2014
I don't know if non-Italians can really follow the whole story. But this is the best Italian film I've seen in a loooong while.
Top score for me!
January 11, 2014
This piece of art is a brilliant painting. Great subject, great artistic achievement, well done job, but I found boring to watch it for 2 hours.
December 21, 2013
"il divo" is pure cinematic experience by Pauolo Sorrentino ("this must be the place") that made here fantastic scenes with unique and perfect cinematography.
Tony servillo is mesmerizing and played the mysterious Anderotti and "shooting" his words from the script into the audience's head.
C. A.
November 3, 2013
You do not need to be Italian to absolutely fall in love with this movie. You don't need to know the intricacies of Italian political history to revel in the movie's stellar cast, tempo, and directorial marvel. It is an exquisite, rich, in depth look at Italy's most influential prime minister. Enjoy.
December 4, 2011
The remarkably broad spectrum in which iconic governmental figures have been portrayed in film over the decades has ranged from the personal and intimate, right up to their overall political impact; their ultimate power. However, be they controversial, revered, or downright despised, the ways in which a national leader's life as a whole can be dramatised often seem to be frustrated at the final hurdle; creating a genuinely engaging piece of film. Somehow, against the odds, Il Divo manages to span all fronts of Giulio Andreotti's complex character with style and dexterity to spare.

At once terrifying, brutal and cold, Sorrentino's epic tale of sanctioned corruption and death on the Italian peninsula also projects an odd charm, a twisted brand of 'silliness' that magnificently contrasts the chillingly serious accusations of a man seemingly torn by his own power - his darker side never admitting fault to his own conscience. How refreshing it is too to see a cinematic representation of a modern leader that blends up its overly-administrative subject matter with a little pinch of salt, and a little bit of surreal humour. Memorable moments involving senators sliding around on marble floors, dancing to samba bands and spending their waking lives desperately trying to stop a migraine pill from leaving the pharmaceutical codex are slotted between confessions from Giulio such as 'We must love God greatly to understand how necessary evil is for good', and 'I've always had a weakness for ice cream'.

Of course, a film with the ever-enigmatic Andreotti as the protagonist inevitably leads to the story floating through occasional phases of ludicrously dense, high-speed dialogue, magniloquently focused on 'who met who?', 'who accused who?', and 'who murdered who?', but Sorrentino blasts through these patches by making sure every single edit introduces a shot more breathtaking than the last. Clearly a man with a truly gifted eye for aesthetics, the film comes together to perfectly demonstrate the surely gargantuan effort put into every scene. Il Divo is a truly beautiful movie.

Throughout, there are many titles, subtitles, and the odd line of dialogue that are not translated due to the express-train speed of the film, and as a result the film feels impenetrably, almost exclusively Italian at times, but even this is insufficient to stop the unstoppable force, the almighty power of Il Divo, certifiably one of the great political films of the modern era.
March 9, 2013
A perfect take of the most important and influent politician after the world war.
December 22, 2012
brilliance!!! filmmaking at its best... and whatta performance from tony servillo!!! just go see...
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