Paolo Sorrentino (2018)

18 Certificate


Our Score
Having demonstrated a mastery of long-form drama with The Young Pope (2016), Paolo Sorrentino originally presented this fantasy on Silvio Berlusconi's political comeback in two parts. However, it has been released in truncated form in the UK and one can't help wondering how the missing 50 minutes would have fitted into the meandering and not always convincing narrative. In addition to the efforts of Silvio (Toni Servillo) to worm his way back to power, Sorrentino and co-writer Umberto Contarello focus on the crumbling of his long marriage to Veronica Lario (Elena Sofia Ricci) and the efforts of provincial contractor Sergio Morra (Riccardo Scamarcio) and his spouse to buy their way into the former prime minister's charmed circle with the help of Silvio's mistress (Kasia Smutniak). In seeking to expose the debauched venality of Italy's upper echelons, however, Sorrentino employs tactics (including discomforting amounts of female nudity and debasement) that were more permissible in the days of Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini than in the #MeToo era. The performances are exceptional, the production values impeccable. But this version feels consistently hamstrung by its structural flaws and tonal misjudgements.

Cast & Crew

Silvio Berlusconi Toni Servillo
Veronica Lario Elena Sofia Ricci
Sergio Morra Riccardo Scamarcio
Kira Kasia Smutniak
Tamara Euridice Axen
Santino Recchia Fabrizio Bentivoglio
Fabrizio Sala Roberto De Francesco
Paolo Spagnolo Dario Cantarelli
Cupa Caiafa Anna Bonaiuto
Mariano Apicella Giovanni Esposito
Director Paolo Sorrentino
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Other Information

Language: ItalianColourTheatrical distributor: Curzon Artificial EyeGuidance: Sex scenes, drug abuseReleased on: 19 Apr 2019