Riccardo Scamarcio is Un ragazzo d’oro for Avati
by Vittoria Scarpa
- The new film from the unflagging Bolognese director stars Hollywood star Sharon Stone as well as Cristiana Capotondi and Giovanna Ralli. In cinemas from tomorrow with 01
He's “the most wonderful son you could ever imagine” the star of the new movie by Pupi Avati, Un ragazzo d'oro [+see also:
film profile] (lit. "A golden boy"), “a son who gives up his own mental health to rescue his father’s memory, even if this father doesn’t perhaps deserve him”. The prolific Bolognese director, 76 years old and 39 features directed for cinema (almost one film per year since Balsamus in 1968), thus presents his most personal work yet, a reflexion on the complex father/son relationship, on the dramatic influence of an absent parent and on the burden of heredity, in particular in cases of bankruptcy.
Awarded recently for best screenplay (written by Avati with his son Tommaso) at the Festival des Films du Monde in Montreal, the movie stars Riccardo Scamarcio as Davide Bias, a talented writer of stories which he can’t manage to publish, son of a screenwriter of B movies “much loved by Tarantino”. Addicted to psychiatric drugs, a compulsive counter of his steps and jealous of his fiancee Silvia (Cristiana Capotondi), he works in a advertising agency but dreams of writing something wonderful in order to ditch the kind of ‘trash’ authors like his father, with whom he has a difficult relationship. However, when his father dies suddenly in a road-traffic accident – which could be a suicide – a charming editor Ludovica (Hollywood star Sharon Stone, who probably wasn’t really needed) reveals to Davide that his father had been writing an autobiography and that she would be interested in publishing it. In reality, he only ever wrote one page of the book. Davide thus decides to shut himself up in the family home with his mother (Giovanna Ralli) and to write it himself, replacing his father more and more (he wears his clothes, his aftershave, he falls in love with the beautiful Ludovica), until he loses sight of reason… and wins the Strega Prize.
“It’s true, in my movies I’m insistent on tackling the father figure and constantly do”, admits Avati. “It’s probably because I lost my father at twelve years of age and with time I’ve become curious about what kind of relationship I would have had with him. Here I decided to add the good-for-nothing father who leaves the burden of his bankruptcy to his son”, and he adds: “like the protagonist I feel the intoxication of failure. I feel like I haven’t yet made the film of my life”. This certainly isn’t it, on account of the minor defects and approximations (the father, because of how he’s portrayed, seems like a man from the 40s, and yet he hadn’t even been born at the time; the protagonist racks his brains for a good section of the movie in search of the password to his father’s computer, when in the end it was the most obvious: the name of the woman with whom he was obsessed before he died). Nonetheless, the solid direction and a look at human vicissitudes, especially familiar, are what make Avati’s films authentic.
(Translated from Spanish)