IT'S EASIER FOR A CAMEL presents an interesting slice of life. As the film begins, we meet Frederica (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi), a young woman in her thirties who seeks the counsel of a priest. In her "confession" (she begins but never finishes and has about three subsequent visits to the church), we learn that she is wealthy, hence the title of the film--when Frederica tells the priest she feels guilty about her wealth, he quotes the famous Gospel passage about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for the wealthy to get into Heaven. We also learn she is unfulfilled, has two lovers, and hopes that a good spiritual cleansing will help her. We also learned what prompted her to seek reconciliation. Her father is about to die which reveals all sorts of questions about life.
Throughout the film we see flashbacks of her life, especially her childhood. Some are engaging such as games with her brother and sister while others bizarre. The most notable example would probably be her being kidnapped, befriending her kidnappers, and the whole gang joining the family for dinner and a sing-a-long of Communist themed songs. We see that she's a writer but has uneven success at it. We also see the family: her sister Bianca (Chiara Mastroianni) who is prone to turbulent mood swings, Aurelio (Lambert Wilson) who travels the world but is clueless about life, and the mother (Marysa Borini) who seems to be in personality an older version of Frederica. Aurelio's character may be extraneous. I also wished that the parents looked younger when the children were younger. We also meet the love interests Pierre (Jean Hugues Anglade), the man she's with, and Philippe (Denis Podalydes) the man she was with but still loves and cannot have.
In some ways the film starts off to be somewhat original with its beginning in a confessional setting and there are no magical conclusions or resolutions which make it real. However, the film does seem to jump and the flashbacks are not always logical or easy to understand why they're significant. Still, the overall story is enjoyable and it does do a good job at portraying human angst and emptiness without overkill.