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SÉRIES / CRITIQUES Italie

Critique série : Antonia

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- Cette comédie dramatique imaginée par Chiara Martegiani fait la lumière sur une maladie invalidante qui touche des millions de femmes en la traitant simultanément avec ironie et sensibilité

Critique série : Antonia
Chiara Martegiani (centre) dans Antonia

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

It all begins with a conversation about chickens and hens. Chickens become hens if they produce an egg. If they remain chickens, they’re killed. In other words, if you don’t change, you die. It’s around this metaphor that the new dramedy Antonia unfolds, a series dropping on Prime Video from 4 March, devised, written by and starring Chiara Martegiani, directed by Chiara Malta (Simple Women [+lire aussi :
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) and overseen creatively by Valerio Mastandrea. Change is something that the protagonist of this series must face on the dawn of her 33rd birthday, after discovering that the pain she’s been living with since adolescence has a name: endometriosis. It’s a debilitating illness affecting three million women in Italy alone, requiring psychological support and from which respite can only be secured in one of two ways: immediately having a baby or giving up this option forever by agreeing to a forced menopause.

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On the day of her 33rd birthday, Antonia’s (Martegiani) life falls apart: she fights with her partner, the dependable and understanding Manfredi (Valerio Mastandrea – the pair are also a couple in real life), she finds herself homeless, she loses her job as an actress in a soap opera, and she feels sick on a bus and faints, just as the conductor asks her to show a ticket she doesn’t have, right under the nose of Michele (Emanuele Linfatti), a stranger who comes to her aid. Antonia is coarse and spiky, she wears an oversized jacket which looks like armour and sunglasses to protect her from the world. Her life is in chaos and, following the fainting episode, she learns she has a chronic illness which is probably the root cause of many of her problems. The young woman subsequently embarks on a journey of self-discovery, first trying out Jungian analysis, followed by Gestalt therapy, a shamanistic journey, and much much more, before eventually using her pain as an opportunity to take back control of her life.

Born out of personal experience (an identity crisis at thirty years of age and being diagnosed with the very condition Martegiani depicts) and written in league with Elisa Casseri and Carlotta Corradi, this six-episode series is fresh with a pop feel and with a protagonist somewhat reminiscent of Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the casual blend of pain, existential disorder and humour she embodies. Light-heartedness and sensitivity come together in this portrait of a thirty-something woman on the edge, who’s surrounded by other slightly beaten-up characters who also feed into the movie’s tragicomic tone: her best friend Radiosa (Barbara Chichiarelli), a new mum who, contrary to her name, is ravaged by tiredness and the constant absence of her husband Marco (Leonardo Lidi), who’s also busy learning a few new things about himself; Michele from the bus, who becomes Antonia’s friend - a straight edge and slightly maladjusted guy who helps Antonia understand that we need to accept ourselves for who we are; the selfish and frivolous mother played by Chiara Caselli; and Antonia’s devoted but impoverished agent Gertrud (Hildegard Lena Kuhlenberg), who provides her with a refuge in her luxurious, crumbing apartment. It’s an intriguing series which is sure to go down well for its short format, with each episode only lasting half an hour or thereabouts.

Antonia is a series produced by Fidelio and Groenlandia, in collaboration with Prime Video and RAI Fiction.

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(Traduit de l'italien)

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