Comencini and the hidden truths
Cristina Comencini, who is presenting, for the first time in competition in Venice, her eighth feature film La Bestia nel cuore [+see also:
film profile], received a short but intense applause from the specialized press. The capacity of the daughter of the great Luigi to make choral films, rich in pathos, was once more revealed after the convincing trials of those last few years such as Weddings, Free the Fish, The Best Day of my Life [+see also:
film profile]), in a dramatic film taken from one of her novels.
The film depicts the story of Sabina (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), who dubs women voices for the screen but who does not manage to externalize her own distress due to a past episode which still torments her without ever really coming alive. Anxiety, when she realises that she is has become pregnant by the man she is living with, pushes her to go to the USA and visit her brother (Luigi Lo Cascio) to remind herself and revisit the trauma of her father's sexual abuses. Her brother, also a victim, will teach her that this violence is a disease from which one never recovers but which does not prevent someone from living.
The theme of misfortune during childhood is a pretext to talk about "this internal darkness, against which we all have to fight", said the filmmaker. La bestia nel cuore, full of chiaroscuri and shade, betrays the novel, maintaining the narrative elements and increasing the comic moments, at which Comencini is a master, situations that lighten the story, helped by powerful performances from Anna Finocchiaro and Giuseppe Battiston.
Produced by the Italian company Cattleya with Rai Cinema, co-produced by the British companies Beast in the Heart and Limited, the Spanish Alquimia and the French company Babe, the film was shot in 11 weeks with a budget totalling 6 million euros between Rome and Puglia, while the American sequences were shot in Philadelphia and in Virginia. TF1 will handle international sales.
(Translated from Italian)
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