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Loose Cannons (Mine vaganti)

The only thing more complicated than love is family

Turkish-born Italian filmmaker Ozpetek (Hamam, Facing Windows) branches into comedy with this borderline farce about an estabished family struggling to grapple with the issues of the 21st century. It’s bright and smart and, ultimately, surprisingly moving. Returning home to Lecce from his studies in Rome, Tommaso (Riccardo Scamarcio) confides to his older brother Antonio (Alessandro Preziosi) that he intends to tell his whole family that he’s gay, partly to get out of his responsibilities in the family’s pasta business. But at dinner that night, Antonio drops his own bombshell, leaving their parents and sister stunned. Their grandmother (Ilaria Occhini), however, isn’t so surprised. Or shaken. Over the next weeks, the fallout continues as Tommaso befriends the sexy, mysterious Alba and neglects his boyfriend back in Rome. Ozpetek loves these sorts of family-based movies, with lots of passionate, lively people spiralling around each other. And what makes this film work, besides some strong acting, is the more serious themes the story raises as it explores the conflict between generations at what is clearly a transitional point in cultural history (and not just in Italy). The family patriarch isn’t against homosexuality per se, but he’s terrified that if his son is openly gay he’ll be a laughing stock. Of course, everyone in this film sees things in a slightly different way. And it’s the juxtaposition of three generations that makes things intriguing, especially since Occhini steals the film as the wise grandmother who knows a thing or two from experience. And Scamarcio is thoroughly engaging as a young guy caught between a rock and a hard place, as it were; his anxiety is a little overplayed, but it’s also palpable. In fine Italian style, most of the key scenes take place at mealtimes, including both the smaller, quiet moments and the bigger farcical events (such as when Tommaso’s boyfriend and three very gay pals visit from Rome). But even in the broadest comedy, Ozpetek roots the characters in authenticity. And by keeping the tone light and frothy, he’s able to explore an intensely serious issue with refreshing insight and a warmly personal touch. – Rich Cline, Shadows On The Wall Official Trailer
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Directed by: 
Ferzan Ozpetek
Running Time: 
110
Country(ies): 
Italy
Language: 
Italian with English subtitles
Starring: 
Riccardo Scamarcio, Nicole Grimaudo, Alessandro Preziosi, Ennio Fatastichini, Lunetta Savino, Ilaria Occhini
Screenplay by: 
Ivan Cotroneo, Ferzan Ozpetek

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