Who Ordered the Meat Sauce?

There’s pasta, and then there’s Italian pasta, just as there are kingpins, and then there are Italian kingpins. For some reason, certain things are just done better inside the boot, and one of them is organized violence. Another is cinema about organized violence, or at least that was true back when Visconti and De Sica were making it. Italian cinema recently has been going through a rough spot, but one bright, shining light is writer/director Paolo Sorrentino. In 2007, he rocked the Cannes film festival with Gomorrah, an instant Mafioso classic. Then last year, he did it again with Il Divo, the tale of real-life Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, elected to parliament seven consecutive times despite multiple corruption charges and one arrest for ordering a hit on a journalist.

Critics have raved about the film’s incredible cinematography, but it’s the performance of Toni Servillo as Andreotti that’s the real clincher — the coldly bemused center of a gigantic boys’ club, who reportedly once told the pope: “Excuse me, your Holiness, but you don’t know the Vatican.”
July 10-12, 7 & 9 p.m., 2009

 
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