There are some recent Italian films that are going in a new direction. Good quality films with an eye on market.
You know what I think? Dramas, poetic comedy- dramas à la Beningni’s Life Is Beautiful and films with the last TV-comedian in the leading role are not enough. It’s time for something different.
Recently some Italian directors are finally experimenting an Italian way to other genres: science fiction (like They call me Jeeg) and action movies.
Among these I would place Veloce come il vento, also known with the international title Italian Race. Here’s the trailer in Italian. This is the first motor race movie among recent Italian films I remember. Actually, I think it’s the only motor race Italian film ever.
Which is interesting, if you think that there’s a whole Italian area, from Imola (where the film is set) to Mugello which is completely devoted to motors. Ferrari, Lamborghini and Ducati are there. Valetino Rossi is from there. Bikers are everywhere, parents put children into a go-kart at three years old. Why nobody talked about this before?
Giulia is a seventeen years old GT racing pilot trained by her father. When he dies for an heart attack, her older brother Loris comes home after ten years. Loris was a talented and reckless rally pilot in the past, but now he’s junkie living in a trailer. He occupies a room in Giulia’s home with his girlfriend. She has to accept his presence because she and their younger brother are minor. Without Loris they would be given in custody to social service. Moreover, she needs money to cancel her father debts and she has only two ways to make it: take part to a dangerous illegal race called Italian race or win the GT championship.
It’s not hard for you now to figure out how the movie goes on. Giulia is forced to accept to be trained by Loris. He still have talent for racing, but his too unreliable not to cause more chaos in Giulia’s life. Will she win the championship?
I liked some things in this film, while others should be done better.
The plot has some oddities here and there. One eample: Loris looks like a forty years old man, Giulia is seventeen and the little brother ten years old and they say to have the same mother.
Acting is not totally convincing. Well, Stefano Accorsi, one of the most valued Italian actors, ex of Leatitia Casta, who plays Loris, is not my favourite. So probably it’s me. I’m for sure influenced by one film he did in 2001 as main character: L’ultimo bacio by Gabriele Muccino, one of the most successful recent Italian films. It was a film about 30-something people and their complicated relationships. I saw it in my last twenties and its memory still scares me. It was so superficial and sad I thought I did not want to reach the age of 30 years. Anyway Accorsi has got that I-am-intense-so-I-whisper attitude that I don’t really like, mostly because I don’t understand what he’s saying. In this film he does the opposite, exaggerating the role a little bit too much.
Anyway, he lost 30 pounds to play Loris, he refreshed his natural Bolognese inflection and he won the 2017 David di Donatello (the Italian Oscar) for best actor. As Hollywood teaches, if you are a handsome actor and make yourself ugly for a role you’ll probably win a prize.
The contrast with the sober performance of the debuting actress playing Giulia doesn’t work too much for me.
On the other side there are a lot things I found nice in the movie.
The production really enrolled a car for GT championship and they shot during the real races, so the paddock scenes and some race scenes are genuine. The real pilot ended at 8th spot, by the way. As far as I can see there’s more stunts than computer graphics.
I found it nice that it’s not a want-to-be-Hollywood-like movie. Giulia lives in an old cascina (a farmhouse) with a garage, which is so Italian small-town.
They shot the illegal“Italian race” on an Italian mountain road, not on a motorway as you would do in another episode of Fast and Fourous.
And finally we see some action scenes in an Italian movie! A chase in the small roads of Imola city centre and another one in a scooter against traffic flow are something you wouldn’t expect to see in an Italian film.
So if you’re looking for recent Italian films with something new I strongly suggest Veloce come il vento (Italian race). It’s not perfect, but it’s fresh and fun. Exactly what we need in Italy.
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