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Qualcosa di nuovo: something new for Paola Cortellesi and Micaela Ramazzotti

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- Cristina Comencini’s new film centres around a strange pair of friends involved in a relationship with a boy who’s a lot younger than them: an ode to levity

Qualcosa di nuovo: something new for Paola Cortellesi and Micaela Ramazzotti
Micaela Ramazzotti and Paola Cortellesi in Qualcosa di nuovo

A love triangle between two 40-something friends and a dishevelled 19-year-old is the basis for a comedy of crossed wires and feelings that pays tribute to the freedom of letting go, at any age, to the joys of sex and levity. Cristina Comencini brings us Qualcosa di nuovo [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, starring a new pair of Italian stars: Paola Cortellesi (also co-screenwriter) and Micaela Ramazzotti. After the partnership of Buy-Golino in A Possible Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Ramazzotti-Bruni Tedeschi in Like Crazy [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Paolo Virzì
film profile
]
and Ferilli-Buy in Me, Myself and Her [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
, it’s now the turn of these two esteemed actresses – the first, the winner of the David di Donatello for Best Actress for Nessuno mi può giudicare [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and nominee for the same award for her recent performance in Gli ultimi saranno ultimi [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
; the second, the winner of the David di Donatello for The First Beautiful Thing [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and a Nastro d’Argento this year for her performance in Like Crazy – to give form to a strange pair of friends, one the polar opposite of the other, who call everything they knew was certain into question after something unexpected happens. 

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This something unexpected thing goes by the name of Luca (Edoardo Valdarnini), who has only recently entered adulthood and comes sweeping into the more or less coded lives of Lucia (Cortellesi) and Maria (Ramazzotti), two 40-something women who are separated and have opposing approaches when it comes to men: Lucia doesn’t want to know anymore, and Maria can’t do without them. One evening, a drunken Maria sleeps with Luca without realising that he’s just a kid. The morning after, Luca, who was also drunk, thinks he’s had sex with Lucia, who he bumps into in the kitchen. The two women thus find themselves swapping roles, and once they’ve started, they can’t turn back. The rigid Lucia starts developing a taste for the joys of sex without too many strings attached preached by her friend, whilst the more frivolous Maria discovers that you can also have a conversation with a man. Unbeknown to each other, the two women soon both become regular visitors to the disorganised room of Luca, who is meanwhile going through a crisis with his girlfriend. 

Maria, Lucia and Luca are three ‘absolute beginners’ (as highlighted by the notes of Absolute Beginners by David Bowie, which plays almost in full in a long sequence) when it comes to emotion: so this isn’t a film about toy-boys, but “an emotional education in which everyone is emotionally immature”, explains the director. “You’ve come along at a difficult time in our lives”, the protagonists both say to this enterprising young man, who, for his part, floors everyone by lucidly stating that “women spend the first part of their lives making plans, and the second part dismantling those plans”. It’s almost as if Comencini were telling us that sometimes it takes a 20-year-old to get us to open our eyes and dig deep inside ourselves: “I wanted to show that different generations of people can relate and talk to one another freely”. The director thus invites us to "let ourselves go, because discovering the other always does you the world of good”. An ode to levity that is, in itself, reinvigorating, but would have hit its target better with a little less levity in the screenplay (the misunderstanding that the film is based on doesn’t hold up: the characters meeting at a masked ball would have perhaps justified the mix-up a little better; the contrast between the two friends, one stern and the other more fluttery, borders on caricature at times).

The film, which is based on a play, also by Comencini, called La scena, is produced by Cattleya and Rai Cinema, and is being released in theatres on Thursday 13 October by 01 in 350 copies.

(Translated from Italian)

CNC conférence 6 decembre
 

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