Based on Paulo Giordano’s phenomenal book, which turned the first-time writer into a bestselling celebrity in Europe, The Solitude of Prime Numbers marks a welcome return for director Saverio Constanzo, whose Private was a Festival Discovery film in 2004.
Giordano, a twenty-seven-year-old author with a Ph.D. is physics, based his novel on the idea that his two main characters are like prime numbers; they can only be divided by one and themselves, so they are always joined but forever separated. Using this underlying structure he proceeds to tell the intertwined stories of Mattia (Luca Marinelli) and Alice (Alba Rohrwacher) from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, a narrative of overlap where the two of them live parallel lives but never become romantically involved with each other.
The story begins with the young Alice nearly losing her leg in a ski accident, and Mattia deserting his mentally-challenged sister for a party, only to have her disappear due to his negligence. These moments scar each of them, and as they grow into teenagers and then adults, they find themselves dealing with their essential separateness from society. Mattia becomes a brilliant mathematician and Alice a photographer, but their personal lives are a constant work-in-progress. High school is a challenge for both of them as they fall victim to the teen jealousies and rivalries of the fashionable in-crowd. Constantly struggling to assert their independence and uniqueness, they find that life is constantly full of unexpected twists.
Like the novel, the spell of the film lies in the echoes that the two protagonists find in each other’s lives, and what they make of them. As Alice and Mattia mature and grope towards understanding, they find themselves confronting parents and friends who are alternatively fascinated and repelled by their singularity. Troubling, complex and compelling, The Solitude of Prime Numbers is a wonderful portrait of differences. —TIFF.net
Saverio Costanzo (born 1975, Romе). He studied sociology in Rome and New York. He started with documentary series about daily life, Coffee Milleluci in New York. It was the first Italian example of documentary series on the Internet. In 2000, Costanzo wrote, filmed, directed and edited six episodes of a new documentary drama, The Red Room. It won a special mention of the critics at the international festival in Turin. Private is his first feature film which won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno IFF in 2004 and was sold in 25 countries. In 2006 he made his second feature film, In Memory of Me, shot on the Island San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. It was presented at the 57th Berlin IFF (2007). Between 2009 and 2010 he made his third feature film, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, based on the novel by Paolo Giordano. —Golden Apricot International Film Festival
I think it is the best European film of the 21st century. It changed my perception on how grandiose the film can be. For me, this film is a definition of a word ‘masterpiece’.
To borrow Henry James's description of the Victorian novel, Toronto is one loose and baggy monster of a film festival. One big final roundup
“Aquela imagem parada fez emergir outras e a mente de Alice juntou-as recriando o movimento, os fragmentos de sons, farrapos de sensações. Sentiu-se invadida por uma nostalgia lancinante, mas agrad… read review