THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME
A CASA TUTTI BENE
2018, Indie Sales, 105 min, Italy, Dir: Gabriele Muccino

“This movie is about everything: life, our existences, about how difficult it is to live with anyone, from your partner to your children and finally your parents … how hard it is to be fair,” notes Gabriele Muccino of this appealing ensemble dramedy, which follows a string of U.S.-set English-language films (including THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS) by the director. The setting here is an island off the Italian coast, where an extended clan has reunited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of grandparents Pietro and Alba; when a storm traps them for two days, three generations struggle to sort out long-simmering family issues.


NAPLES IN VEILS
NAPOLI VELATA
2017, True Colors, 113 min, Italy, Dir: Ferzan Ozpetek

This enigmatic, intricately plotted thriller stars Giovanna Mezzogiorno as Adriana, a medical examiner who falls for a guy (Alessandro Borghi) at a party only to discover his corpse at the mortuary days later. As the police begin to focus on her, Adriana spots the young man in the subway - is it a ghost, or something else? Adding to the atmosphere are Gian Filippo Corticelli’s lush cinematography and Pasquale Catalano’s evocative soundtrack - the film’s titular city rarely seemed more beautiful, or mysterious, on screen.


COLD WAR
ZIMNA WOJNA
2018, Amazon Studios, 88 min, Poland/France/UK, Dir: Pawel Pawlikowski

Pawel Pawlikowski (IDA) earned the Best Director award at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival for this passionate romance between a man and a woman who meet in the ruins of postwar Poland, broadly inspired by the filmmaker’s parents. Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) is an even-tempered musician grounded in the urban intelligentsia and Zula (Joanna Kulig) is a charismatic young singer with a mysterious past and a seemingly limitless future - a pair who are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. Shot in black-and-white and set against the background of the Cold War in 1950s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, it’s the tale of a couple separated by politics, character flaws and unfortunate twists of fate - an impossible love story in impossible times.


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