Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Martone worked wonders with a limited budget at re-creating a visually beautiful epic of early 19th century Italy, recounting its decades long war for unification as a nation-state. Servillo and Lo Cascio put in their much more than reliable usual performances, and Inaudi gets the plum role of portraying the Countess Belgioioso, one of the most fascinating and now almost unknown women of the last century. The film reveals that southern Italy was in some ways better off prior to the country's unification, and that the populist spirit of Garibaldi was indeed betrayed by the privileged who took the reigns. A heartbreaking film for those who understood what the unification of Italy promised--not only a democratic state, but a fair state--and failed to achieve. Epic length, so it was butchered for the short attention spans of some of its audience at its first US showing in LA in November 2011. Still worth it, if only for showing the Italian genius at creating the world of Visconti even without him.
Works well as a smartly and tightly scripted generic chase film with little substance. The climax is deftly handled with no extraneous dialogue, just the glances of the actors. Lellouche puts in a winning performance as the average Joe, or Samuel, in the case.
Why is Scorsese making a Spielberg film? To prove he can, maybe. Of course, the converse could never happen. Slick filmmaking with the necessary dash of genuine sentiment. The best sequences are the recreations of Melies' cinema, but unlike Melies' cinema here things, the plot, and characters are always predictably what they seem.