A Castle In Italy

A Castle In Italy


Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

A little of actor-turned-director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi - the sister of former French first lady Carla Bruni - goes a long a way. In her third feature, a semi-autobiographical journey around love, death, and a vanishing world of privilege, there is a lot of Valeria on offer.

Louis Garrel, who was her partner in real life until last year, plays her character’s younger lover. Her mother Marisa Borini has a part as her surviving parent. She also relates her brother’s death in 2006 from Aids-related issues.

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It is difficult to warm to these bourgeois folks and their foibles. Bruni Tedeshi’s character Louise returns to her childhood home in Piedmont to sort out the family’s finances which could mean selling the crumbling family castle – shades of Chekhov and The Cherry Orchard.

Her older brother Ludovic (Filippo Timi) is reluctant to make any moves to ameliorate the situation, such as opening the pile to paying visitors or selling off the odd Brueghel canvas.

Bruni Tedeschi’s script (with a little help from Agnes De Sacy and Noemie Lvovsky) meanders from one strand to the next without any real momentum. The fact that it is all so personal should mean that the events depicted would have added poignancy but instead we become mired in tedium.

Everyone is allowed to over-act, not least herself, who runs the gamut of wet-eyed self-pity to hysteria.

One of the few pleasures was an unexpected appearance at a London auction of Omar Sharif who seemed to cast a benevolent gaze over the proceedings, but then probably he hadn’t had to sit through the whole shebang.

It looks attractive enough but as the only female director in the Competition we expected more. After Actresses and It Is Easier For A Camel, both also semi-autbiographical, it is time for Bruni Tedeschi to move on.

Reviewed on: 23 May 2013
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A family are forced to sell their Italian home.

Director: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi

Writer: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Noémie Lvovsky, Noémie Lvovsky, Agnès de Sacy

Starring: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Louis Garrel, Filippo Timi, Marisa Borini, Xavier Beauvois, Céline Sallette, Andre Wilms, Marie Riviere, Gerard Falce, Pippo Delbono, Silvio Orlando, Omar Sharif

Year: 2013

Runtime: 104 minutes

Country: France

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