Review: Il sol dell’avvenire (2023)

Il sol dell’avvenire (2023)

Directed by: Nanni Moretti | 95 minutes | drama, comedy | Actors: Nanni Moretti, Margherita Buy, Silvio Orlando, Barbora Bobulova, Mathieu Amalric, Valentina Romani, Flavio Furno, Zsolt Anger, Jerzy Stuhr, Teco Celio, Giuseppe Scoditti, Valerio Da Silva, Angelo Galdi, Arianna Pozzoli, Francesco Brandi

No, the 80s and 90s were not the golden years of Italian cinema. Yet we sometimes forget the great films from that time. Directors such as Gianni Amelio (‘Il ladro di bambini’), Giuseppe Tornatore (‘Nuovo cinema paradiso’) and the Taviani brothers (‘Kaos’) each delivered their little masterpieces. Another Italian filmmaker from that time is Nanni Moretti. His international breakthrough came in 1993 with ‘Caro diario’, but his absolute masterpiece turned out to be the tranquil mourning drama ‘La stanza del figlio’ from 2001.

Like his contemporaries, Moretti did not stop after his great successes, but the quality of his work did decline over the years. With ‘Il sol dell’avvenire’ we reach a temporary low point. This humorous drama follows a well-known formula. Activist director Giovanni (Moretti) is working on a new production, a political circus film set in an idealized 1950s. But he soon encounters practical problems. Such as elephants who don’t get along, actors who come up with their own texts and problems of a budgetary nature. Giovanni’s family life is also about to explode. Wife Paola wants to divorce him, daughter Emma wants to marry a Pole who is about three times her age.

In ‘Il sol dell’avvenire’ those daily problems are interspersed with scenes from the film that Giovanni is shooting. In the best case, as in the cheerful HBO series ‘Irma Vep’, such a thing produces a whole that is as light-hearted as it is fascinating. ‘Il sol dell’avvenire’ is neither light-footed nor captivating. What is particularly striking in this failed comedy is the influence of Woody Allen. The sessions with the psychiatrist, the neurotic director, the name-dropping, the quasi-sharp dialogues, the melancholy music.

Where the humor is usually still in order with Allen, it is often too bland for words in ‘Il sol dell’avvenire’. Long, predictable dialogues, in which Giovanni/Moretti’s half-surprised, half-silly look quickly starts to irritate. Low point is a minute-long scene in which Giovanni rants against the mores of the ‘modern’ film and he sings the praises of past glory. Also a scene in which Giovanni negotiates with people from Netflix is ​​so incredibly bland and everything used to be better that you can’t laugh at it for a moment. It is also in this scene that you give up hope that you are watching a self-deprecating parody. Unfortunately.

Just like Allen’s films, ‘Il sol dell’avvenire’ once again shows that there is a thin line between nostalgic and matured. A border that Moretti crosses again and again, causing the film to slide further and further. Perhaps ‘Il sol dell’avvenire’ can offer some comfort to a life-weary over-sixty, but every lively enthusiast ignores this with a wide berth.

Comments are closed.