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Cannes Review: The Rich Also Cry In Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi’s 'A Castle In Italy'

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 20, 2013 5:22 PM
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It’s hard not to read a degree of self-justification into Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi’s (mostly) French-language comedy-drama “A Castle In Italy,” so we’re not really going to try. We took notice of the film in advance mainly because it made headlines as the Cannes Competition’s sole entry from a female director but as handsomely shot and occasionally diverting as the film is, it’s also terrifyingly bourgeois. For every moment of comedy that lands or drama that touches a nerve, there are ten of “why the bloody hell should I bloody care?” or “cry me a river, you had to sell your Brueghel.” Bruni-Tedeschi undoubtedly has talent both as an actress (she takes the lead role here) and behind the camera , but we can’t help but feel that her dramatic strengths -- familial relationships, odd romances, religious (specifically Catholic) dilettantism -- could have played in a less rarefied setting to more universal sympathy. As it is, detailing the gradual decline in fortune of a rich European family, her film amounts to little more than an occasionally charming glimpse at people whose life events we might relate to, but whose lifestyle keeps getting in the way.

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