The focus of Silvio Soldini’s flim Garibaldi’s Lovers is spread quite widely, as the story set in Italy, follows an assortment of interesting characters, through events in their everyday lives.
Initially it seems that Diana (Alba Rohrwacher), a struggling artist, will be the central figure, but matters soon expand to include Leo (Valerio Mastandrea) a plumber, and his son Elia (Luca Dirodi), daughter Maddalena (Serena Pintucci), and the ghost of his dead wife Teresa (Claudia Gerini). Also involved is Diana’s oddball landlord Amanzio (Giuseppe Battiston), a slick lawyer named Malaffano (Luca Zingaretti), a stork named Agostina, and a statue of Italian soldier and statesman Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), who
provides commentary about events of the day.
The narrative flows along with a light breezy tone, with events mostly related to the activities of the shady Malaffano. These include the painting of a mural, the purchase of a house, the removal of an embarrassing video, and a new romance for Maddalena. Things never get too heavy or dramatic, as the film concludes with Leo’s frantic search for his son.
The movie is well shot, and features some interesting cinematography, including a hyped-up bike ride through the city. The acting performances are very enjoyable. Alba Rohrwasher is particularly delightful, but unfortunately isn’t featured more. While Garibaldi’s Lovers can certainly be appreciated by those with no knowledge of Italian life or history, perhaps those with some insight into the culture, might better appreciate the nuances and messages in the film.
As usual, this Film Movement release also includes a short. “The Kiosk” is an amusing animated feature, about the operator of a kiosk, who dreams of a more exciting life.
A copy of the movie was provided for review.