One star for the highly stylized cinematography (he is Paolo Sorrentino's disciple), a second star for Juliette Binouche's acting, third star for the dance scene where Leonard Cohen's Waiting for a miracle starts playing. Same problem with Youth, the focus is on the image at the cost of the plot, except in this case the acting pulls it together.Second favorite watch at the Panorama this year. Fire at Sea comes first
This is one of those films that are all about the plasticity of the frame, the magnificent qualities of its photography and how this element is actually at the core of all the narrative. Beyond the story line (at moments quite dull and over simplistic) the aesthetic discourse of this film is truly remarkable, classicist without imitation and subtle in the best of the ways. Don't expect the same about the soundtrack.
It's surreal, in a sense that you feel alienated by the characters' world, yet you're pulled slightly just enough to keep you in the story. It's surely is a weird feeling to have when you watch a movie and knowing you don't want to let go til it ends. This is how it made me feel. L'attesa could actually make no sense, but it does look good being that way.
From its opening shots of patron saint of global arthouse Binoche relieving herself at a funeral in a gorgeous church, 'The Wait' posits itself as somewhere between piousness and outrage. Neither element works, and instead we're treated to a decadent, self-serious exercise in the worst tendencies of arthouse cinema. Pretty, but thanks to Sex Pistols I always think of Vacant after that word.
The movie is lacking something to make it more transcendent, like a deeper metaphysical component. However, I can't ignore the emotional ressonance it inspires, along with the impeccable technique. It says everything it wants to say, nothing more, nothing less; as do Binoche's shattering facial expressions.
There's a moment early on Paolo Sorrentino's mediocre Youth where a still, wide, symmetric camera shows a colorful group of people on a moving walkway. There's that almost exact same shot early on here,but with shadowed silhouettes instead. With a very similar photography,it's this conceptual and literal shadow that Messina shows through the film to understand significantly better than his friend and teacher. [cont.]
What a disappointement. The first thirty minutes are an interesting mix between Sorrentino's exuberance and a more controlled, rigorous cinema. Then, after a ridicolous dance sequence in slow-motion, the film loses all its aesthetic force, resulting emphatic, excessively symbolic and surprisingly flat.