• From: Michael Chase <goya@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 10:59:56 +0100

I realize I've been failing lately in my duties as lit-ideas official=20
Paris-based film correspondent, so here goes.

        Sergio Castellito's Non ti muovere (released in French, God =
knows why,=20
as A corps perdu) is, I thought, a really terrific film.
Castellito, who also directed and co-wrote, stars as Timoteo, a=20
well-to-do surgeon who, at the film's beginning, is pulled from an=20
operating room to be told that his 15-year old daughter Angela has=20
suffered a critical head injury and being operated on right down the=20
hall. At this we're transported by flash-backs to the period before=20
Angela's birth, when Timotho's car breaks down on a hot day in a sleazy=20=

suburb of Rome. He is helped by a crass, over-made-up young Albanian=20
named Italia who takes him to her cruddy, ramshackle home. Timoteo=20
later returns and semi-rapes her, thereby beginning a lengthy and=20
tumultuous affair which includes, among other things, a pregnancy with=20=

unfortunate results...Yet T. has a glamorous wife in his fancy seaside=20=

home, and she too gets pregnant, with none other than Angela....

        To reveal more would be to spoil the film. I thought the couple=20=

Timoteo  - Italia (played by Penelope Cruz, but she gave such a great=20
performance as a battered girl from the Lumpenproletariat that I didn't=20=

realize it was her until the final credits) really works=A0: one =
in their passion. I also liked the fact that Castellito portrayed his=20
own leading character as very far from an angel=A0: he is a coward and a=20=

liar, among other things. Yet I felt that that's how people often=20
really are=A0: we love deeply and yet just don't have the guts to act in=20=

an honorable way.

        I though the camera-work was great, and the way the story =
original and fresh. Sure, as the smarty-pants Paris film critics were=20
quick to point out, the plot - rich guy keeps poor mistress on the side=20=

- is nothing revolutionary, and even the theme of the parents suffering=20=

for their teenage kid has been done just recently in another Italian=20
film, Nani Moretti's La stanza del figlio (2001), but I found=20
Castellito's grief-strciken performance even more convincing than=20

        One last reservation : this is not a chick-flick and persons of =
feminist and/or politically correct persuasion may not like it. There's=20=

a fair amount of rough sex, which the female partners are portrayed as=20=

thoroughly enjoying=A0: here's where one sees that Castellito is=20
indulging himself by realizing some of his more puerile male fantasies.=20=

Many might see the Castellito character as nothing but an egoistic=20

        But it was really Penelope Cruz' character that blew me away. =
her role is nothing earth-shatteringly new either : it's a variation on=20=

the tired theme of the whore with a heart of gold. Yet the way she=20
evolves from a weak victim of Timoteo's advances to being by far the=20
stronger of the two, and to a degree of selflessness that he could=20
never approximate is, I found,, extremely moving. Then again, maybe=20
it's just a guy thing.

        Best, Mike/

Michael Chase
7, rue Guy Moquet
Villejuif 94801

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