Paolo Virzì on set in the United States for The Leisure Seeker
by Vittoria Scarpa
- The Tuscan director has been filming his first English-language film since 25 July. The feature, produced by Indiana Production with Rai Cinema, will star Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland
Filming, which got under way on 25 July in the United States, is halfway through for Paolo Virzì’s new film The Leisure Seeker, starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. The esteemed Tuscan director’s first English-language film, which is loosely based on the book of the same name by Michael Zadoorian, will be shot over nine weeks in total, wrapping at the end of September.
Here, the director of Like Crazy [+see also:
Q&A: Paolo Virzì
film profile] (Virzì’s latest flick, which was positively received at this year’s Cannes Film Festival back in May) brings us, together with Francesca Archibugi (who also worked with Virzì on Like Crazy), Francesco Piccolo (Human Capital [+see also:
interview: Paolo Virzì
film profile]), and Stephen Amidon, another on-the-road/on-the-run story. The film, which is described as a fantastic and very human adventure with two moving characters, and teeters between comedy and drama, happiness and sadness, centers around a couple of octogenarians, Ella and John, who have been married for 50 years and are both ill – he with Alzheimer’s, she with a tumour –, and their escape from the treatments administered by doctors and their grown-up children. He is absent-minded but strong, she is exhausted but couldn’t be more clear-headed, and together, they embark on an adventure on the American road, from Boston to Key West aboard their old camper van, and between moments of hilarity and genuine terror, we see an impassioned marital love that seems destined to lead them to surprising revelations right up until the very end. According to Virzì, this is “a story of universal appeal about life, love, the passing of time, illness, strength, and the fragility of family ties”.
The Leisure Seeker is being produced by Fabrizio Donvito, Marco Cohen and Benedetto Habib for Indiana Production, with Rai Cinema and in partnership with 3 Marys Entertainment, on a budget of almost €15 million. The film will be released in Italy by 01 Distribution, whilst international sales are being handled by French company BAC Films, which will also be releasing the film in France.
(Translated from Italian)