After “Bones and All” by Luca Guadagnino, released last week, another film by an Italian director stands out among the new releases: it is “Monica”, the third work by Andrea Pallaoro, author born in Trento in 1982 and raised professionally in the United States, where he moved at the age of 17.
At the center of the plot is the Monica of the title, who returns home for the first time after a long absence. Finding her mother and the rest of her family, from whom she had distanced herself as a teenager, she embarks on a journey through her pain and fears, needs and desires, until she discovers within herself the strength to heal the wounds of her own past. After “Medeas” and “Hannah”, Pallaoro definitely raises the bar with a delicate, touching film capable of remaining impressed for a long time at the end of the vision:
Monica is a transgender character written in an admirable way and is the absolute strength of a film which, although initially struggling a bit to fuel, grows over time both in narrative rendering and in emotional involvement.
Trace Lysette’s excellent performance
Presented in competition at the last Venice Film Festival, “Monica” is a film that is also striking for the expressive rigor of the staging, centered on often static shots and great attention to the choice of lights and colors. by Katelin Arizmendi (who had already collaborated in films such as “Dune” by Denis Villeneuve or “It Comes at Night” by Trey Edwards Shults) is impeccable and often seems to recall the idea of giving life to a nostalgic family album to leaf through. after shot. Trace Lysette’s surprising performance as Monica is among the most intense performances of recent months, but the supporting cast does its job well, including well-known names such as Patricia Clarkson and Emily Browning.
Among the novelties, we also note “Forever Young”, the new film by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Set in the 80s, it tells the story of a group of twenty-somethings – including the protagonist Stella – who find themselves sharing the extraordinary experience of being able be part of a prestigious acting school directed by Patrice Chéreau. Between exuberance and fear of an uncertain future, they will understand what it means to become adults. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi returns to her youth and recounts a strongly nostalgic and heartfelt operation with intense emotional transport. Italia”) left something to be desired in terms of staging and writing, in “Forever Young” the level is undoubtedly higher and the stylistic excesses are more functional here since they are linked to scenic fiction. Very incisive in the first part, the film drops a little at a distance when light-heartedness gives way to a disillusionment that is overly telephoned and constructed at the table, but the overall design is nonetheless convincing and free from major flaws. It should be noted that Luis Garrel plays the well-known director Patrice Chéreau, while Stella has the face of well done Nadia Tereszkiewicz, an actress to definitely keep in mind for the future.