Pieraccioni & Marilyn
by Gabriele Barcaro
Like the main character of Ken Loach’s latest film, Gualtiero Marchesi (a pool cleaner) of Io & Marilyn [+see also:
film profile], the new comedy directed by and starring Leonardo Pieraccioni, is a man in a bit of a crisis who also gets visited (and given advice) by a legend.
While in Looking for Eric [+see also:
interview: Cannes 2009
interview: Steve Evets - actor
film profile], the main character sees Eric Cantona appear, here it’s Marilyn Monroe (Suzie Kennedy, a remarkable resemblance) who “comes to life” (so to speak, since only he can see her) in Gualtiero’s living room in Florence during a séance. After some initial confusion, Gualtiero soon realizes that the diva of Some Like It Hot can help him with his emotional problems as an abandoned husband (his wife, Barbara Tabita, who already divorced the Tuscan comic in I Love You in All the Languages of the World, here left him for a tiger tamer, “the stallion of Posillipo”, Biagio Izzo) and father (of a daughter he doesn’t want to disappoint).
“I’m fulfilling a dream with this film,” explained Pieraccioni (who wrote the script with Giovanni Veronesi, who wrote the film story). “That is, to say ‘I love you Marilyn’. The film is a tribute to this woman par excellence of the collective male imagination, but it also tackles themes such as extended families and domestic partners, homosexual and non”. Such as Gualtiero’s best friends, two gay pastry chefs who own the “happily cannolo boutique”, played by Luca Laurenti and Massimo Ceccherini (who is under-used, like most of the supporting cast, from Francesco Pannofino to Rocco Papaleo).
No pokes at current affairs, naturally, nor satirical or unconventional digs. Perhaps more melancholic than usual, Pieraccioni says, “I’m 45, I feel more fragile, I’m less cheeky than when I made The Cyclone.” Veronesi agrees: “Leonardo is more mature, his gags are more structured.” But as always, the box office champion of comedies couldn’t be any more “reassuring” if he tried, and even ends this film with praise for normality (“It takes more courage to go to work every day than to stick your head in a tiger’s mouth”).
Produced by Levante and Medusa Film (which is distributing it on 650 prints, 50 of which are digital), Io & Marilyn will be out in Italy on December 18, ready to take on the other Christmas blockbuster, Natale a Beverly Hills.
(Translated from Italian)
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