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MOVIES: L’immensità - Review

This is a film that takes an abusive relationship between a mother and father and tells it from the child's perspective; a child's point of view - similiar to films like Playground, Close and Tomboy - and whilst it's not quite as heavy hitting as those 3 it's still a solid piece of work, helped by the fact that Penélope Cruz is just too good.

The Italian 70s setting makes it for a backdrop that is uniquely timely and very well orchestrated, echoing that of My Brilliant Friend not just because of how stylish everything is: the costumes! the set design! I want to own every item of clothing in this film.

We open with everything happy, uplifting with a cheerful dance montage - but the cracks begin to show in the marriage; whilst we see Luana Giuliani's Andrea wrestling with his identity and gender dysphoria - no longer wanting to be known as Adriana, which creates tension with his own siblings. It's a brilliantly nuanced child's performance as you see the rage for his mother and his own identity struggle tear him apart - both characters are the crux for Emanuele Crialese's narrative.

It's not quite strong enough to have an ending that leaves any sort of memorable note and kind of just peters out; but there are a few excellent scenes that keep you hooked. The shared bond of rebellious spirit in mother and son creates a fascinating dynamic - one that is uniquely suited to L'immensita and that alone is worth seeking it out for.

L’immensità is currently playing in UK cinemas now and is available on Curzon Home Cinema.


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