97% Ghostbusters Aug 29
30% As Above/So Below Aug 29
36% The November Man Aug 27
98% Starred Up Aug 27
76% The Congress Aug 29

Top Box Office

92% Guardians of the Galaxy $17.2M
20% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $16.7M
37% If I Stay $15.7M
21% Let's Be Cops $10.8M
18% When The Game Stands Tall $8.4M
34% The Expendables 3 $6.5M
32% The Giver $6.4M
45% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For $6.3M
66% The Hundred-Foot Journey $5.3M
19% Into The Storm $3.8M

Coming Soon

—— Innocence Sep 05
—— The Longest Week Sep 05
—— The Identical Sep 05
67% Thunder and the House of Magic Sep 05
74% God Help the Girl Sep 05

New Episodes Tonight

91% Doctor Who: Season 8
—— Hell on Wheels: Season 4
39% Intruders: Season 1
89% Outlander: Season 1
46% Reckless: Season 1
—— Unforgettable: Season 3

Discuss Last Night's Shows

—— Jonah From Tonga: Season 1

Certified Fresh TV

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
73% Murder in the First: Season 1
89% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

Vincere Reviews

Page 1 of 11
Jennifer X

Super Reviewer

April 29, 2011
Who would have guessed that a biopic - about Mussolini, no less - could have turned out so avant-garde? Although consistently overshadowed by its (admittedly) superior Cannes counterpart "The White Ribbon," the Italian film "Vincere" still has its strengths, disregarding conventional biopic mechanisms in favor of a taut, yet occasionally overwrought, dramatic storyline.

By omitting the traditional "this is where he started" bits, "Vincere" immediately catapults the viewers into the center of the action. The film is remarkably operatic, with clamoring swells and swoops and a soundtrack rivaling the likes of "Amadeus." Director Marco Bellocchio ("Good Morning, Night") makes skillful use of old 1930s film reels, masterfully juxtaposing grainy WWI propaganda with scenes from the film, flashing and fading out of victims in mental hospitals with sunken eyes just as the opera voices billow and subside.

Where "Vincere" succeeds most at is exploring the concept of sex as a mechanism of character - before Mussolini comes into power, he is seen subjugating Dalser, foretellingly, in much the same way. In one particularly harrowing scene, Dalser spreads herself naked on a comforter, having sold all her possessions in order to fund her lover's Socialist newspaper. "Say you love me, just once," the needy Dalser begs. In true fashion, Mussolini responds by violently pressing his lips against hers, obscenely ravishing her naked body. The image fades out, and a troop of advancing soldiers marches across the screen, preliminarily connecting the bedroom to the battleground before the historical events happen.

Yet the problem with "Vincere" - as with all biopics - is that it comes off as quite one-dimensional, essentially focusing on Mussolini's pathway to power through his character and personal relationships. Once the dictator leaves the film halfway following his abandonment of Dalser to a mental institution, there is fundamentally no more film, leaving us to deal with Dalser's theatrics in the absence of a powerful male figure.

As a Mussolini biopic, the melodrama had worked wonders. As an Ida Dalser one, it's a bit too much, as the actress Mezzogiorno screams obscenities, psychotically flinging letters onto the ground and generally raising havoc among the ward. Her performance is powerful, to be sure, but her character is simply not interesting nor sympathetic enough to carry the film by herself. Viewers can neither identify nor sympathize with Dalser's overtly masochistic tendencies, and soon, her hysterics begin to grow a little old.

If the first half were taken in isolation, "Vincere" might have been applauded as a greater film, portraying the gripping story of dictator ravenous for all aspects of power, sex and love. While the second half is not terrible, it falters tremendously in contrast, carefully and destructively losing steam with every second it goes over.
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

August 16, 2010
Without a doubt, this is the best movie I have seen this year! Political unrest, the rise of fascism and Mussolini, interspersed with actual vintage newsreel footage. There are eerie parrallels with Mussolini's relationship with Ida and Italy itself. As always, Mezzogiorno is equally stunning and enthralling to watch. This is a story that needed to be told and deserves recognition for its complexity and impact on Italian national identity and consciousness.

Super Reviewer

April 4, 2010
It is always a good sign for a biopic, which this really is not, to start in a totally unfamiliar place to the viewer. At the start of the stunning mad fever dream of a movie, "Vincere," Benito Mussolini(Filippo Timi) is not a fascist, but at the other end of the political spectrum, a socialist, in Milan in 1914, challenging god to strike him down. Unluckily for a lot of people in the future, he is not but Lady Ida Dalser(Giovanna Mezzogiorno, in a superb performance) is sure as hell impressed and they are soon making hot sex. So, Mussolini who lived on a steady diet of police confrontations where he shouted that the last king will be choked with the entrails of the last pope(Or is it the other way around? I get confused...) sees his opportunity with the beginning of World War I. While most of his colleagues want neutrality, he wants war, publicly claiming it as a revolutionary act. In a coldblooded way, he does have a point, since the world will never be the same way again, and the Russian Revolution has a lot to do with this. But in reality, he sees an opportunity to work the popular sentiment, not against it, creating a newspaper, Il Popolo D'Italia, that Ida sells all of her belongings to support.

And what writer-director Marco Bellocchio does wonderfully with "Vincere" is use the style of agit-prop movies, especially those by Sergei Eisenstein(yes, there is a baby carriage), with archival footage to ably dissect these movies and the movements they promote.(Movies are also everywhere in the film, not only in theatres, but in hospitals and outdoors, too.) With fascism, they dictate the reality they so much want to control every detail of. Ida is representative of the people in that she is drawn to Mussolini through animal magnetism, as an insanity took hold over the populace.(Another meaning of insanity is somebody who cannot accept reality.) And for many, fascism is an ideology that does its thinking for you. However, there are some things you cannot control and Mussolini could not how his story would end.

Super Reviewer

February 24, 2010
A very prestigious and dramatic character study of Ida Dalser, Mussolini's secret lover. She bore him a son, and sold all of her belongings to fund his newspaper which made him become known to the public, yet he disowned her and pretended he didn't even know who she was. The film was up for the Golden Palm in 2009 at Cannes, and has a great operatic score, with some beautiful cinematograpy. It was directed by Marco Bellocchio, and stars Giovanna Mezzogiorno(Of "Don't Tell" and "Love in the Time of Cholera.") The best scenes in my opinion were when Dalser was watching Chaplin's "The Kid," her eyes in tears, as she could sincerely relate to the film, and the scene when she was outside in the snow, clinging to the gate, throwing letters out into the night, while a scene of her son pushes down a statue of Mussolini's head in his boarding school, that whole sequence was eloquent and beautiful.

Super Reviewer

November 16, 2009
From Italian director Marco Bellocchio came this biography war drama Vincere, which told the story of Ida Dalser, who claimed to be Benito Mussolini's secret wife. With this movie she told her story,she was his lover, got a his son, and separated from him, and how they interned her in a psychiatric hospital. Access was denied to her to see her son.The movie contained dark shadows but was marvelously constructed and the result was effective.The dialogue was small while the music carried the movie through.Directing was amazing and acting was convincing. Giovanna Mezzogiorno had a strong character, but she was weak in her love for Mussolini.
March 22, 2012
Great melodrama both politically and romantically!
February 18, 2012
Well made movie. The story, unfortunately is depressing - and based on a true story
January 3, 2012
I giggled, sighed, screamed, shouted, cried about injustices, read the biography of Mussolini, and left me wanting to see more Italian films. Vincere works on many levels that ultimately left me satisfied.
December 14, 2011
An attempt quite valid, but not always exciting to bring a historical myth to the real world, and lead the viewer's eyes to an unknown history of ambition beyond measure.
September 27, 2010
3asa an yakoun 3ebra liman ya3taber
September 7, 2011
It seemed too forced at the beginning, but the performances and cinematography rescued this film for me.
February 22, 2011
Hm. An unpleasant story, told with stylistic panache that veers into the self-indulgent in places as it seeks to stay free of the shackles of its own historical facts.
Frank H.
January 15, 2011
The kick-ass Italian film "Vincere" (Win) is the best movie I've seen in months. Something like opera on crack, full of visual and aural bombast. The kind of film Baz Luhrmann would direct if he had taste. Written and directed by Marco Bellocchio, it tells the story Mussolini's secret mistress (played by the incredible Giovanna Mezzogiornio, who could give Meryl a run for her money). The more powerful and notorious Mussolini becomes, the more he ignores her. The more he ignores her, the more desperate she gets for his attention (she flashes her pussy at him during a photo op). He then proceeds to erase his dirty little secret by throwing her in an asylum and whisking their illegitimate son to a military school. Big moments and tiny details flood the screen. Powerful as an advancing army and as convincing as propaganda. I couldn't open my eyes wide enough.
January 12, 2011
Que melodramon tan canson, se gasta mas de dos horas en contar la historia de Ida Dalser, una amante de Mussolini quien le dio un hijo. Madre e hijo al manicomio por culpa de Benito y el director se toma las dos horas para hablar de esto de una foma aburrida y superficial y ademas filmada de cierta forma como el cine de la epoca que representa.
Aburrida y harto.
December 10, 2010
A gripping portrayal of Italy's most famous dictator. Poorly named to capture American audiences.
October 19, 2010
Dobre, mog┼,o by─ jednak lepsze
September 26, 2010
kinda slow... though not like most italian movies...
August 8, 2010
A dominating, confrontational son of an anarchist stands in front of a room of cultured men. They're in a heated discussion regarding politics, liberty, and the role of the Almighty in the current climate. After hearing a different, more theological approach, the podium is turned over to the young man for his more despondent take on reality. He asks for a watch and is obliged by someone in the front row. He sets it down next to him and demands that God, if he is real, strike him dead in the next five minutes. If he isn't stricken dead, then of course, there is no God.

Five minutes go by. His challenge is unheard. There is no God. The room turns into pandemonium. Onlooking believers cannot believe such callous irreverence. While the room turns into chaos, available and gorgeous Ida Dalser gazes awe-stricken from the back of the room, holding back a wry smile that never fades from her eyes. She can't believe what she has just witnessed -- a commanding and handsome young speaker who can totally overpower the opinions and revered worldview of others. His hold over her is firmly planted.

If only she'd realized his message before so quickly falling in love. If she'd realized the danger rather than be so quickly stricken at his aura, his ability to intimidate and trounce -- maybe then she wouldn't have loved a man who would ruin her life. She could have avoided his deception and all those endless, now empty, erotic nights, bypassing the damage of bringing a child into the world where a father's first love is for "the cause" -- making life for the boy worse than a "fatherless" one, but that of being known but unlovable by the one that should have loved him the most.

Maybe she wouldn't have discovered the wife, and maybe then he wouldn't have betrayed both her and their son. Maybe she'd never have known the cold confines of an insane asylum, with her little boy far from her reach, growing up in an isolated orphanage.

Dalser and son Benito were a historical foreshadowing of a bulldozing figure who dictated them into non-existence while gaining power to dictate over all. The figure is Benito Mussolini, Il Duce. He will rule and wreck Italy in the same agnostic and unapologetic way that he ruled and wrecked this estranged woman and their son. But Vincere is less about his rise to fascism and political control, and more about two who are left in the wake of his rise. Stunning performances bring Dalser and Benito to the front of this conspiratorial epic.

Vincere is a throttling film based on this true-to-life "secret." It is the second new Italian film I've seen in the past month to fully blow my mind. It is highly stylized, weaving all kinds of archived Italian WWI footage and an outrageously over-the-top operatic score into a melodrama that puts actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno (Facing Windows and Don't Tell) in a role that threatens to tear her character apart.

Like I Am Love, the foreign-language masterpiece still on urban screens, Vincere uses a classic film approach to make its case -- the language of the medium relating to itself -- but here it is abundant and much more obvious, with characters in movie houses taking in film screenings and news reels in a young and burgeoning film era.

Among the many movie house scenes, two key screenings bring empathy to Dalser's betrayal:

Mussolini, wounded from battle, makes a choice for one wife over the other -- both present -- as Christ in his suffering and death flickers sorrowfully overhead in black and white. The movie is Antamoro's Christus, a silent from 1916. Even in his ailing condition Mussolini is unconvinced at the sight of a suffering Savior. He cannot come to terms with his own sin; rather than confronting it, he seeks to hide it or wish it away. Dalser, in full retreat, is devastated.

Later, she is overwhelmed with feeling at a screening of Charlie Chaplin's The Kid. The sentimental story about a jeopardized relationship between a man and child brings her to tears. As the two are reunited at the end of the classic, her very spirit springs to life. It's a scene that reminds us of our own background when relating to the stories of the world. She's touched not only because it is a great story and film, but because it relates to her personal journey.

If Dalser would have stayed quiet about the identity of her son, she may have avoided years of being hidden away in a mental institution. If Benito would have stayed quiet about the identity of his father, he may have avoided death in an asylum, age twenty-six. But the mother and son in Vincere are the kinds of people from which real movies leap to the screen -- the kind who will scream at injustice, and writhe from the core of their being when reality has turned into real fiction. To see them as such reminds us to fight for the oppressed, to strive on in the face of indignity -- to hope beyond all hope for a better and truer world.

New to DVD in the past week, Vincere is a film that I missed in the theater, much to my own dismay. It would have looked larger than life on the big screen. But even seeing it in this format may put it on my year-end list when I reflect on the best of 2010. Between careful acting and hard, heart-felt performances, and expressive stylizing and editing that brings the pupils in your eyes to life, it is an amazing rendering of the other side of Mussolini -- one that is just as wrong, but less known than the side that rose to national power.
Jeanne B.
July 26, 2010
Confusing and depressing
Page 1 of 11
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile