It's clear that Garrone is lamenting the death of culture. But the movie is more compassionate than screed-y. It's a portrait of the preoccupation with fame in an age in which in fame is cheap.
The satire here is finespun, and the film's conclusions ambiguous.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A dark allegorical comedy about the nature of fame, about obsession, about madness - and the point where they converge: on Big Brother, a TV show watched by millions.
| Original Score: 3/4
For all its ups and downs and occasional detours into boorishness, it's an original that will surprise if not necessarily delight fans of Garrone's very different crime drama, "Gomorrah."
Matteo Garrone follows his crime epic Gomorrah with a comedy about reality TV, and though it hardly rivals the earlier movie in its social complexity, it still offers the spectacle of a vibrant and vividly realized Neapolitan neighborhood.
As cautionary tales go, this one's ripely knowing, and it speaks in a lot more languages than Italian.
| Original Score: 4/4
Garrone has a feeling for sweep and color, and he makes Luciano a pathetic victim of the unrealities with which TV can beset us.
The opening shot guides us into the absurd merriment of a wedding party, while the ending is lit with a mystifying sense of wonder.
Garrone doesn't make the mistake of turning his protagonist, Luciano (Aniello Arena), into a bland Everyman. He never loses his singularity.
| Original Score: B+
[An] astute, dreamlike gut-punch ...
| Original Score: 4/5
[Arena's] feverish urgency matches his character's, right up through the movie's dreamlike final scene ...
The bright palette of "Reality" is an obvious way to underline the hero's unraveling, but it looks good, and it works.
Mr. Garrone offers a glimpse not only of one man, but also of the soul of a people.
| Original Score: 5/5
This is a movie that will reward multiple viewings, from a filmmaker of tremendous technical ability, humor and heart.
Four years after astounding audiences with his starkly grim mob tale "Gomorrah," Matteo Garrone returns with a more garish, and superficial, vision of Italian culture.
| Original Score: 3/5
While its barbs on celebrity and reality television are expected and a little facile, they're mostly a misdirect for a story about family, community, and religion ...
Garrone is in complete control of his thematic plutonium.
What Reality loses in satirical momentum as it slouches through its second half, it gains in substance by positioning celebrity as the new cracked sainthood.
Garrone just about keeps things under control long enough to make the surprisingly quiet coda emotionally satisfying and resonant.
If Luis Bu˝uel were alive today, this is roughly what I'd expect him to be up to.
| Original Score: B
A disappointingly obvious follow-up to [Garrone's] unsparing criminal drama Gomorra...