I would never have imagined that my favorite films from this year's FSLC Open Roads fest would be so different, one that approaches art, the other an utterly mainstream movie that yet provides so much more than what American mainstream movies generally offer.
How often do you encounter a movie that presses all your "progressive" buttons while, in the process, engrossing and entertaining the hell out of you? (If you possess those buttons, that is. I would advise the NY Post's Kyle Smith to stay away or risk apoplexy.) The wonderful movie WE CAN DO THAT (Si può fare), from co-writer (with Fabio Bonifacci) and director Giulio Manfredonia, shown below, takes us back to the Italy of the late 70s/early 80s, when, in a move somewhat similar in intent and time-frame to that pulled by NYC, when its psychiatric hospitals were closed and their mental patients released.
Stories about the mentally impaired inevitably run the double risk of producing cheap laughs and even cheaper tears. We Can Do That doesn't -- due to its insistence on getting so many specific details right. From the way in which the businessman Nello (a fine performance by Claudio Bisio) notices the creativity of some of his group and finds a way to use this in the workplace to the inclusion of romance and even sex into the menu, the movie consistently surprises and delights. Even the proclivity of one patient toward violence is handled with intelligence and skill.