Press Reviews for September

Critics acclaim Italian movies at Toronto and Venice

Press Reviews for September


ANIME NERE - BLACK SOULS by Francesco Munzi

Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
Authentic atmosphere and charismatic characters make this one of the most convincing films about Italy's 'Ndrangheta crime lords.

Jay Weissberg, Variety
Carefully constructed, allowing each scene to develop, “Souls” is set to be this year’s mafia pic.

Susan Vahabzadeh, Süddeutsche Zeitung
Anime Nere is one of the best Italian films to screen in the Venice competition for years.

Robbie Collin, The Daily Telegraph
The tone of Luchino Visconti also runs through the core of Munzi’s film: there’s an almost theatrical grandeur to the plot, but moment-to-moment it zings with realism. [...] there are obvious comparisons to be drawn with Francis Ford Coppola’s first Godfather film.

A thriller of the absolutely thrilling type, more open in its virtuosity brooding narrative style than others of its kind [...] brilliantly cinematic.

by Mario Martone

Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
Italy's greatest 19th-century poet Giacomo Leopardi gets classic honors in Mario Martone’s sumptuous biopic starring Elio Germano.

Jay Weissberg, Variety
Germano uses his nervous intensity to craft a complete performance [...] Visually, the film is unfailingly attractive.

Isabelle Regnier, Le Monde
Very inspired [...] Martone showcases vibrant characters in a nature that is no less so. [...] this beautiful portrait escapes the academy to enroll instead in a romantic tradition eyeing Visconti.

Marie-Noelle Tranchant, Le Figaro
...offers both a sumptuous evocation of time and an intimate study of the personality and thought of the great Italian poet, played with fire in his physical pain and his inner strength by Elio Germano. From Florence to Naples, Mario Martone stages his tribulations with a breadth and sophistication in the line of Visconti.

Xan Brooks, The Guardian
...the film has much going its way. It’s a sweeping, swooning historical drama, unashamedly high-flown and performed with conviction. It blooms and then withers like some big fragrant orchid... Germano manages a terrific job in the role of Leopardi.

Susanne Ostwald, Neue Zürcher Zeitung
The constant humming and twittering of the festival audience fills the Lido. That makes this visitor grateful for quiet, poetic voices like those the Italian director Mario Martone chooses. The script to the picture-perfect artist portrait "Il giovane favoloso" about the writer Giacomo Leopardi, credited ewith the renewal of Italian literature in the first half of the 19th century, is based entirely on (autobiographical) writings by Leopardi, who was an ironic iconoclast and a brilliant melancholic. The images of Florence and Naples are of such incredible beauty that one is moved to giving oneself fully to this film - a true pleasure in the midst of a visual flood.

Jacques Morice, Telerama
C'est maintenant au tour de Mario Martone de nous séduire grandement avec Le jeune fabuleux (Il giovane favoloso) [...] On serait surpris que Le Jeune fabuleux ne décroche pas un prix, ne serait-ce que celui de l'interprétation masculine, tant Elio Germano, bossu lyrique et valétudinaire, porte le film à bout de bras cassés. Now, it is the turn of Mario Martone to seduce us greatly with Il giovane favoloso . [...]
One would be surprised if Il giovane favoloso does not pick up an award, in particular that for best actor, as ElioGermano as a lyrical and valetudinarian hunchback carries the film on his broken arms.

by Saverio Costanzo

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
A tense, claustrophobic nightmare, played with sincerity and force.

Robbie Collin, The Daily Telegraph
Alba Rohrwacher and Adam Driver star in an impressive indie horror in the vein of Rosemary's Baby. […] a terrific showcase for Rohrwacher, who’s spectrally unnerving.

Jay Weissberg, Variety
[Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher are] topnotch actors. […] exceptional performances. Driver has carved out a distinctive niche in the indie scene, projecting a complex likability […]. The versatile Rohrwacher[…], knows how to project iron-willed determination disguised under a veil of fragility.

Margaret Pomeranz, Abc Tv’s at The Movies
Best movie I've seen at the [Venice] festival, and I wouldn't be surprised if the actors all won awards at the festival.

Emma Jones, BBC
If Adam Driver wasn't going to be a massive star anyway this would make him one.

by Ivano De Matteo

Jay Weissberg, Variety
Ivano de Matteo’s nuanced drama reps an improvement on Herman Koch's bestselling novel.

Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter
This tough and confronting drama stands a good chance of doing solid business locally, while its recent win of the Europa Cinemas Label at the Venice fest suggests it might have crossover potential in other European territories.

by Michele Alhaique

Mark Adams, Screen International
An impressively moody and magnetic lead performance from Pierfrancesco Favino [...] Favino and Scarano have real quality.

Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter
Scarano [...] exudes a gutsy charisma and there’s a nice, simmering chemistry between her and Favino who radiates inherent goodness and solidity throughout.

Guy Lodge, Variety
Pierfrancesco Favino’s soulful lead performance.