Love-making with Virzì in Tutti i santi giorni
by Vittoria Scarpa
- The Livorno-born director returns to the big screen with the story of two people who love each other immensely, but cannot have children. Coming to Italian theatres on October 11
One couple, boundless love and an unsolvable problem. Paolo Virzì returns to the big screen two years after The first beautiful thing [+see also:
film profile] (Academy Award Nominee in 2011) with a disengaged, simple film, starring barely known actors. The story revolves around two people’s love, almost coming across as a director’s debut.
Indeed, Tutti i santi giorni [+see also:
interview: Luca Marinelli
film profile] (which translates from Italian as every holy day), seems to come full circle from the director’s first film, La bella vita (1994), in which Sabrina Ferilli and Claudio Bigagli were husband and wife going through a crisis.
In his own words, the Livorno-born director chose to stage “a humane narration in today’s frosty Italian society.” Specifically, Virzì takes us into the cold of Roman suburbs, as ignorant as they are violent, where the two main characters have seemingly ended up by accident.
Guido, played by Luca Marinelli (La solitudine dei numeri primi, L'ultimo terrestre), especially stands out. He is quiet, reserved and has a passion for ancient, holy languages. Despite his classical studies, he works as a night-time doorman in a hotel. He is happy to do so: when work quietens down, he can dedicate himself to the reading he so enjoys. Early in the morning, he returns home to find his great love waiting for him in bed.
Antonia (Sicilian singer Thony, who Virzì found on MySpace and is also behind the beautiful soundtrack) is Guido’s polar opposite: tormented, impetuous, verging on morose. She writes aching music and sometimes performs in bars to an uninterested audience. While she is as unruly as a true rock star, she works for a car rental company by day. Guido brings her breakfast in bed and every single day, they make love to each other. But despite this going on for six years, they never manage to have children.
To those who find it hard to believe that love could exist between two such different characters, Virzì says: “We have become used to believing grotesque farces like that of Fiorito (Lazio councillor who was arrested for using public funds for his personal gain), because it’s on the news every day. But Guido and Antonia also exist, and their particularity does nothing to affect their humanity.” The age-old story of opposites attract.
Guido and Antonia love each other hugely and manage to overcome obstacles which would have easily separate many other couples. The absoluteness of this love gives the film a fable-like element. And Thony’s spontaneity, in her first, and perhaps only experience on screen (she doesn’t seem bothered either way), is a breath of fresh air for an audience used to constantly seeing the same faces when it comes to Italian films.
Tutti i santi giorni, a liberal adaptation of novel La generazione by Simone Lenzi, will be hitting screens across Italy on Thursday, October 11, in 300 copies with 01. The film was produced by Motorino Amaranto, the director’s company, with Rai Cinema and Mps Bank.
(Translated from Italian)
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