I want to thank my inspirations: Federico Fellini, the talking Heads, Martin Scorsese and… Armando Maradona!
As a good Italian, especially from Naples, director Paolo Sorrentino had to thank the Argentinian football player, who led his team Napoli, in his acceptance speech last night at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony.
Sorrentino’s masterpiece The Great Beauty won as Best Foreign Language movie after 15 years Italy didn’t receive any recognition from the Academy.
In the movie successful journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) embodies an italian older version of Great Gatsby : he is the main personality of the lavish nightlife in Rome, he is an intellectual and his charm is unbeatable.
After a life spent on his complete self-absorption and passion for the extravaganza, Jep on his 65 years old birthday starts to reconsider his borderline party-centered lifestyle.
The film is a metaphysical journey in search of the real Beauty of life, and where else should one look for the meaning of beauty if not in Rome?!
Paolo Sorrentino is one of the finest directors in the italian movie scene, mostly known for : This must be the place which sees Sean Penn in a chameleon quirky performance, and Il Divo which stars Toni Servillo (The Great Beauty) as Giulio Andreotti, italian prime minister from the late 40s.
Last night, Paolo finally gained his place next to Italian cinema’s gods such as Fellini,De Sica and Benigni. Naples-based director received the well-deserved recognition for his work which always privileged the portrayal of truth and the depth of his characters, rather than focusing on the likability and the popularity of his films as a product.
But Sorrentino is only the tip of the iceberg: Italian cinema has always been one of the finest worldwide and it hasn’t stopped producing marvelous pictures in the past 15 years.
Here are 5 italian must-watch from 5 different italian directors of the past decade:
2) Don’t move (2004) with Penelope Crùz, directed by Sergio Castellitto, who reunited again in 2012 to create another striking film also starring Emile Hirsch, based on Margaret Mazzantini’s novel Twice Born .
3) Loose cannons (2010): comedy drama directed by Turkish by birth, Italian by will, Ferzan Ozpetek, widely known for award winner picture Facing Windows , characteristic for his multistory-telling style.
4) Days and Clouds (2007) directed by Silvio Soldini starring two of the most prominent actors in the italian scene: Margherita Buy and Antonio Albanese.
5)The first, beautiful thing (2010) : a sentimental portrayal of the italian family and the controversial relationship between mother and son. Directed by Paolo Virzì.
If you have any other favorite italian or foreign language movie in mind, please don’t hesitate to comment below.