Caos Calmo (Quiet Chaos) (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Caos Calmo (Quiet Chaos) (2009)



Critic Consensus: An understated and thoughtful insight into grief and despair, with a stellar turn from Nanni Moretti.

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Movie Info

With Quiet Chaos (Caos Calmo), acclaimed Italian helmer Nanni Moretti steps away from his standard directorial role to essay the lead and co-author the script in a gentle psychological drama directed by Antonello Grimaldi. Moretti stars as Pietro, a film executive whose life takes an irreversible and devastating turn one fateful morning. During a trip to the beach with his brother, Pietro's path intersects with that of a woman, Eleonora (Isabella Ferrari), who is drowning in the ocean; horrified, Pietro rushes in to save her. He subsequently returns home only to discover that his wife, Lara, just died in a nasty falling accident; devastated to the core, this nascent widower must make the necessary psychological accommodations to adjust to life as a single parent, with sole responsibility for raising his ten-year-old daughter, Claudia (Blu Yoshimi). Almost instinctively, as a reaction to Lara's death, Pietro opts to sit and wait for his daughter to finish school each day (in a park across from the school), in lieu of abandoning her to his own priorities and commitments. This means that the fellow's colleagues in the film industry must, by necessity, come to do business with him in the park. Through it all, Pietro remains silently dumbfounded that the tragedy itself hasn't shaken him more, that the grief (the "quiet chaos" of the title) is subtly agonizing instead of grossly traumatizing and debilitating. Nevertheless, he ultimately begins to approach a full realization and acceptance of his loss, and gains an enhanced awareness of himself and others from the potentially crippling events thrust into his path. Valeria Golino (Rain Man) co-stars; Roman Polanski appears in a cameo as one of Pietro's industry colleagues. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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Nanni Moretti
as Pietro Paladini
Isabella Ferrari
as Eleonora Simonici
Blu Yoshimi
as Claudia
Hippolyte Girardot
as Jean Claude
Manuela Morabito
as Maria Grazia
Roberto Nobile
as Taramanni
Antonella Attili
as Teacher Gloria
Sara D'Amario
as Francesca
Cloris Brosca
as psychotherapist
Tatiana Lepore
as Matteo's mother
Anna Gigante
as Maria Grazia's friend
Valentina Carnelutti
as Maria Grazia's friend
Nestor Saied
as Simoncini's husband
Dina Braschi
as Lady at Dinner Party
Ugo De Cesare
as Man at Dinner Party
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Critic Reviews for Caos Calmo (Quiet Chaos)

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (8)

[Nanni] Moretti makes this 'study' in despair a naggingly neutral, at times borderline coy experience.

Full Review… | July 22, 2009
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Moretti gives his usual excellent performance. But the script throws in too many other elements while it should be concentrating on the father-daughter relationship.

Full Review… | June 26, 2009
New York Post
Top Critic

The film, while uneven -- sometimes too on the nose, sometimes anecdotal and diffuse -- is generally absorbing, thanks mostly to the quality of the acting.

June 26, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

Not even the momentary participation extraordinaire of a vertically challenged famous filmmaker self-exiled from the United States can save this phony pseudo-drama from its final collapse into a heap of inconsequence and male vanity.

Full Review… | June 24, 2009
Village Voice
Top Critic

A thoughtful portrait of the purgatory of grief that prefers small incidences and exchanges over grand gestures of sentiment and revelation. It's sad - but never cloying.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Nanni Moretti superbly carries family tragedy, infusing it with depth and humor.

October 18, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Caos Calmo (Quiet Chaos)


When a rich businessman's wife suddenly dies in an accident, his despair is so deep he is unable to maintain any aspect of his life except for the deep, loving support of his daughter. Every day, instead of going to the office, he takes the little girl to school, then spends the day sitting in the park across the street, waiting for her day to end so he can take her to gymnastics class, then home. He wishes she would come to her classroom window and look down at him. Executives from his office come to the park to talk, to conspire about a merger, one comes to offer him the CEO job. He has no interest. He is in the world of the park and his daughter and the people who pass through the park every day. And just this, no plot, no action, this is enough to make a great movie. Only Europeans have the sophistication to see the power in the smallest detail and translate it to film. In the US we are cheated from seeing pictures like this of our own by a film making system that thinks only 18 year old boys buy tickets. Because in the US we forgot long ago that film is an art, not a get rich quick scheme. These European stars can really act. They don't make Jennifer Aniston movies. Can somebody get rid of her, by the way? Put her under house arrest with no cameras?

Daniel Cooper
Daniel Cooper

slow and moving but doesn't really go anywhere in this tale of a father & daughter dealing with the death of his wife/mother.

Gregory Wood
Gregory Wood

A quiet character study regarding a man dealing with the accidental death of his wife, leaving him to care for their ten year old daughter. Facing uncertainties at work and seemingly unable to process his loss, Pietro (Nanni Moretti) daily waits for his daughter in the park across from her school. He attracts the notice of several other people who frequent the park and receives visits from colleagues, friends, and relatives. His brother, Carlo (Alessandro Gassman), and crazy sister-in-law, Marta (Valeria Golino), check in with him from time to time to express their concerns and to try to induce him into a more normal routine, to no avail. The interaction between the father and daughter feels quite natural and provides a handle with which to understand their grief process. There are lighter moments to relieve the gloom, and the bright daily scenes also help to mask what otherwise could have been maudlin. One sex scene toward the end detracted from the overall tone of the film. It seemed out of place and completely unnecessary. This viewer has no problem with scenes of this nature as long as they flow naturally from the story. This one was too jarring and gratuitous.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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