«Livia, sono gli occhi tuoi pieni che mi hanno folgorato un pomeriggio andato al cimitero del Verano. Si passeggiava, io scelsi quel luogo singolare per chiederti in sposa – ti ricordi? Sì, lo so, ti ricordi. Gli occhi tuoi pieni e puliti e incantati non sapevano, non sanno e non sapranno. Bisogna amare così tanto Dio per capire quanto sia necessario il male per avere il bene. Questo Dio lo sa, e lo so anch’io».
As an American unfamiliar with Andreotti's story or the characters in Italian politics, I found it fairly confusing and hard to follow. I really wanted to know why Andreotti would be so adored, as he comes across as warm as a mannequin and utterly ruthless. Yet, that ruthlessness also made this compelling, as did the strange handlers surrounding Il Divo. Now I want to read more about this period and watch it again.
I liked the visual style of this film. There were lots of surprising moments. It was a bit hard to follow as to historical details and it would have helped to know a bit more about contemporary Italian politics. However, it wasn't a documentary and it did succeed as the portrait of a powerful and complex man. The acting, in particular the lead role, was very strong.
Il Divo is a well shot movie, as we have come to expect from Sorrentino. Sweeping tracking shots, beautiful mise-en-scene and great acting are all in there. Yet the story lacks export value. I believe the experience would be far better if you'd be aware of what's being told.
Sorrentino has a very distinct way of getting his entire cast and production crew to buy into his vision. It's usually quite eccentric and uncommon, so I have to salute him for being able to create these worlds where all who play a role seem exceptionally liberated and committed to his end goals. 'Il Divo' is highly stylized, and it has some beautiful moments, but overall I would have to say it's a bit overdone...↓
Politics Italian style with an Italian hyperstylized account of it. The study of Andreotti isn't one so much in fact as in myth. Sorrentino is more concerned about the idea of the man and even more so how to present the idea in a clever snappy way than an actual account of his life. Unfortunately this too often results in a triumph of style over substance through wry humor and a cliche of cynical goons.
Intentionally, Mr. Sorrentino made this film with full risk. Obviously, it can "reach" only a limited audience. From whom it can be expected to know about Democrazia Cristiana, Aldo Moro, Carmine Pecorelli, Salvatore Riina, Brigate Rosse & about 40-year-long-Andreotti-power-games? No way. Consequently, it is "just" a character study. Performed by outstanding Toni Servillo. Il Divo actually is Il Diavolo. Solid.