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What would you do if you lead a life you cannot afford, but keep on holding on to it for the sake of memories and the happiness that you once had known? Louise is middle aged, but still beautiful. She dreams of finding love of her life and having children. She quit being an actress for that. When a beautiful stranger, a younger man, comes along, she is reluctant at first but then embraces the chance to make all her dreams come true. The things are not so good with her family. They all used to be rich, but now are about to lose everything. And the brother she loves so much is dying. A CASTLE IN ITALY is a portrait of a dysfunctional family, who refuses to face the facts and continue living as if nothing had happened while the world brick by brick is crumbling around them.
Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, the sister of Carla Bruni, a former first lady of France, writes an directs this semi autobiographical peace. With a Chekhov’s “CHERRY ORCHID” set up the film touches upon the problems of honesty, family values, religion and one true love.
For a personal film it is very measured, the story unfolds gracefully, presenting us with characters one by one. It lacks farce that is often expected from French cinema, but is full of humour and provocative scenes, especially where religion is concerned.
For a change here is a film that doesn’t want to prove anything. It is real without being over dramatic and honest just where it is required to be. Never designed to be a big hit, THE CASTLE OF ITALY is still a much deeper movie than it was intended to be.