The loss of a loved one is nothing new to fiction or cinema, yet the fine film by director Antonello Grimaldi (shown below) QUIET CHAOS (Caos Calmo, from the popular Italian novel of the same name by Sandro Veronesi), brings this situation alive in an original manner. Rather than allowing the event itself to keep things depressed and dour, the movie is graceful, encompassing and -- because it deals with
the necessity of moving on -- rich in life at its quirky, deceptive best. Quiet Chaos does not slight death (nor our responses to it) but has the wisdom to place the event in thoughtful perspective, both from the viewpoint of those closest to it, young and old, as well as from those who remain at some distance.
Quiet Chaos is full of surprise, particularly at its beginning. The movie includes quite a swatch of society: family, the workplace and corporate world, fashion and the "in" crowd. Better to get this out in the open, too: it's all about the wealthy. Whether they're losing their job or gaining a promotion, no one we see here worries about where his next meal is coming from or how he will provide for his offspring. These characters live well! So? Movie-wise, the upper class deserves its occasional day in the sun, particularly when this is presented to us by intelligent artists who, for a change, do not treat the concerns of the rich as the stuff of sleaze or soap opera. (OK, there's a little of the former present: How does the Jean-Claude character afford his fancy country house?) Given the very fine performances from a starry cast and the subtlety and interesting variations with which the director and his adapters -- Nanni Moretti (acting as both star and lead writer), Laura Paolucci and Francesco Piccolo -- bring to Veronesi's novel, it's hard to imagine that you won't enjoy being in the sun along with these folk.
tions rather than the event itself, thus circumventing the usual cliches associated with movie moments devoted to a first-time high.
Quiet Chaos opens Friday, June 26, exclusively at IFC Center in NYC. It will also be available via IFC On-Demand. Check your specific TV reception-provider for further info.