Saturday, May 25, 2013

Open Roads 2013: Paolo Virzi's up-to-the-minute love story, EVERY BLESSED DAY

Think of the couple -- Antonia and Guido -- that grounds this oddball and very welcome new film in "movie" terms: They are little independents trying somehow to work with and fit into the big, wide main-stream world. That is their challenge and it is also what defines the new film -- EVERY BLESSED DAY (Tutti i santi giorni) -- from the popular Italian filmmaker Paolo Virzi, below, who earlier gave is the wonderful My Name Is ToninioCaterina in the Big City and more recently The First Beautiful Thing.  "Family" is Virzi's thing, in all its wonder and strangeness, hope and disarray, and in his newest movie, though we see a bit of the large, extended family, mostly it is these two main characters (who hope to create their own family) that we come to know best.

Know them we do, in all their quirks and charm, pain and anger, and we root for them something fierce, even while understanding that the road ahead (just as was the road behind) will hardly be an easy one. In his new film, Signore Virzi is dealing with our current economic times, as well as with relationships and family, and this gives his movie an added boost of reality (and difficulty). His two characters are both working well below their level and capacity, and yet are (at least in his case) grateful to have the job at hand.

As his two leading actors, Virzi has chosen (or maybe is simply very lucky to have) a couple of actors who could hardly be better: Luca Marinelli (above, right, of The Solitude of Prime Numbers and this year's Nina) and Federica Victoria Caiozzo (above, left, a composer/musician and now actress who most often goes by the name of Thony).

Marinelli (above) is a riveting presence, all the more so because he never seems to try for this. A rather goofy looking fellow, he is also incredibly "hot" sexually and intellectually -- again, because he never pushes. His Guido is a one-of-a-kind guy who experiences something like love-at-first-sight when he sees Thony's Antonia perform.

For her part, the actress, above, embodies the spirit of upheaval and protest, even if the thing she is perhaps most protesting is herself. Despite all the love given her by her man, the woman can't escape her own demons. Thony wrote the music for the film, and this works just as well as does everything else.

Finally, Virzi has created a wonderful modern-day love story that begins with a ravishingly beautiful view of the eternal city and ends with a scene and a film technique that, though it's been done before, may never have seemed quite as moving and humorous as it does here.

Every Blessed Day (102 minutes) will be shown at Open Roads as the opening night attraction, Thursday, June 6, at 6:30 at the Walter Reade Theater, and once more on Tuesday, June 11 at 9pm at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.  Click here to seethe entire Open Roads program.

No comments: