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All Critics (15)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (7)
| Rotten (8)
Servillo charms in his dual turn, then takes it up a notch when one brother shows off his childhood knack for impersonating his look-alike.
An ingenious blend of high drama and surprising whimsy.
This here is a slightly sweet, slightly sour tale of brotherly love. Emphasis on 'slight.'
[A] stuck-in-neutral feature, which combines a vague commentary on Italian politics with a vague portrayal of middle-aged awakening.
Wobbles between being wispily suggestive of finer existential meaning and generational commentary, and being basically a handsomely dressed-up "Dave" for post-Berlusconi Italy.
Politicians-replaced-by-doppelgängers has long been a favorite comedy movie device - yet never has it been employed for more torturous faux-funny business than in Viva la Libertà.
Viva la Libertà offers a tame political fantasia where more lacerating laughs are needed.
In all, this film fares so-so. Sometimes, it's a mildly amusing diversion; sometimes, it's cold spaghetti.
This set-up could be played as farce or satire or some pleasing combination of the two, but writer-director Roberto Ando, adapting his novel for the screen, chooses a formal, arm's length approach.
For a story that is rooted in the here and now, it breaks free of the insular, becoming a light-footed fellow traveler with Ivan Reitman's optimistic Dave (1993), without a heavy or the shtick.
A smart, refreshingly whimsical and witty political satire that boasts winning performances by Toni Servillo in dual roles. It might as well be called Politics Italian-Style.
Haunting, surprising in its humor and beautifully served by the twin performances of Servillo.
In "Viva la Liberta," Enrico(Toni Servillo) is in a bit of a rut lately. Not only are his poll numbers as leader of the left in Italy way down but to add insult to injury he also gets heckled at his own party congress. Desperately needing a timeout, he leaves without telling anyone and holes up with his old friend Danielle(Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) and her family in Paris. Andrea(Valerio Mastandrea), one of Enrico's aides, looks to Enrico's brother Giovanni(Toni Servillo), an intellectual who has just gotten out of a mental hospital, for clues on his brother's whereabouts. But what he gets instead is a headache when Giovanni talks to a journalist thinking he is Enrico which at the same time gives Andrea an idea.
If "Viva la Liberta" had just stopped with Toni Servillo's tremendous dual performance and its plot about doppelgangers in politics, I would gladly understand the complaints about this movie's lack of originality. But luckily it does not stop there, as the movie is also interested in carefully exploring mental illness and the world of make believe, not only in the deception at the heart of the movie, but also the world of movies, as Enrico takes the time for once to consider an alternate path for him and his brother, along with maybe one for the left in Italy.
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