A friendly recommendation

Posted by · 5:28 am · April 22nd, 2009

I’m not in the habit of imploring people to go see things — much like organic breakfast cereal, specialist cinema is tastier when you haven’t persistently been reminded how good it is for you — but I must make an exception on behalf of Paolo Sorrentino’s cracking political bio-thriller “Il Divo,” which opens Stateside on Friday (and is still on limited release across the pond).

I feel it necessary to mention the film because, for all its widespread acclaim, the press for the film tends to depict it as a far harder sell than it really is. I’ve lost count of the number of critics I’ve read referring to the film’s intense grounding in the intricacies of Italian politics, hardly a surefire way to lure even the subtitle-schooled crowd.

What they largely fail to mention, however, is that this wildly paced, darkly comedic film requires little to no previous knowledge of — or interest in — the figures at its centre to register as entertainment; it’s actually a more accessible, populist work than its ethnic and aesthetic peer “Gomorrah.” “The Consequences of Love.” As I wrote in my October capsule review (and my “Best of 2008” roundup, where it narrowly missed my Top 10), prime Oliver Stone is the closest point of reference here.

The following trailer is fairly crudely assembled (the film itself is a technical dazzler), but it captures “Il Divo’s” whip-smart energy rather better than much of the media has. As a South African yogurt brand once advertised: “Try it. You might love it.”

1 Comment Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

1 response so far

  • 1 4-22-2009 at 7:20 am

    Chris said...

    I absolutely adore “Il Divo”, it was my personal #5 of 2008. What a brilliant film, cleverly crafted and wonderfully acted.