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Il Divo

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For more than 50 years, he has been Italy's most powerful, feared and enigmatic politician. And as Giulio Andreotti begins his seventh term as Prime Minister, he and his hardliner faction take control of a country reeling from the brazen murders of several high-level bankers, judges and journalists, as well as the kidnapping and assassination of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro. But as the Christian Democrat party crumbles in a nationwide bribery scandal, suspicion begins to fall on Andreotti himself as the center of a shocking conspiracy involving the Vatican, the Mafia and the secret neo-Fascist Masonic Lodge P2. In what is called "The Trial Of The Century," Italy's legendary Senator for Life will stand accused of corruption, collusion and murder.


Studio MPI
SKU 211827052
UPC 030306790497
UPC 14 00030306790497
Format DVD
Release Date 10/27/2009
Rating NR
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  2.35:1
Oscar (2010) Aldo Signoretti, Vittorio Sodano, Nominee, Best Achievement in Makeup
Cannes Film Festival (2008) Paolo Sorrentino, Winner, Jury Prize,Paolo Sorrentino, Nominee, Golden Palm
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review They would seem to be opposites, but on the basis of two recent films, the longtime Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti and the longtime fashion emperor Valentino were surprisingly similar. Both are seen as intensely private, rarely happy, single-minded in pursuit of their ambitions, cool in their personal relationships, and ruling as if by divine right. A difference is that Valentino was never accused of criminal activities...Another difference is that they've inspired radically different films. Valentino: The Last Emperor is reverential; Il Divo is fascinated by what it presents as Andreotti's lifelong career of skullduggery. Still serving the Italian state as a senator for life at the age of 90, he entered politics in 1946 and was prime minister during most of the years between 1972 and 1992. During much of that time, he was widely believed to have associations with the Mafia, and Il Divo shows him imagining a confession to his wife in which he links himself to 236 deaths. One of those might include the murder of Aldo Moro, his political rival, who was kidnapped by the Red Brigades and killed after 54 days when Andreotti shockingly refused to negotiate a ransom...The film proceeds like a black comedy version of The Godfather, crossed with Oliver Stone's Nixon. It assembles a roll call of figures in postwar Italian politics, society and crime, uses an abundance of names and dates in captions, and makes us despair of keeping track until we realize we're not intended to -- the purpose of all these facts is simply to evoke the sheer scope and breadth of Andreotti's machinations. The more we learn, the more fascinated we become, as Servillo portrays him as poker-faced, hunched, impassive, observing all, revealing little, wise and cynical beyond measure. Imagine Dick Cheney without the jolly charisma...After I saw Il Divo, I suppose I should have felt indignation. I suppose I should also have felt that way after The Godfather. But such films present such mesmerizing figures that I simply regard them, astonished. I wonder if just before a snake strikes you, you think: What an amazing snake! The Italians, you have to admit, get good value for their money. Who could possibly follow Andreotti as prime minister? Try Silvio Berlusconi.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource New York Post
Review Meet Italy's Teflon senator. For more than 50 years, Giulio Andreotti -- the centerpiece of Il Divo -- has been one of his country's most powerful and feared politicians. From 1972 to 1992, he was elected prime minister a record seven times, and he has occupied nearly all ministerial posts. Although retired from active politics, the 90-year-old remains a senator for life. Over the years he found himself involved in multiple scandals, but he always survived. Director Paolo Sorrentino's knockout drama Il Divo concentrates on Andreotti's final government (1991-92) and subsequent legal battles. It ends with what newspapers called the Trial of the Century, in which Andreotti was accused of ties to the Mafia -- as well as ordering the murder of a journalist who was about to release a book critical of the politician. The highly stylized, often outrageously funny biopic is anchored by a devastating performance by Toni Servillo as Andreotti, brilliantly capturing the gnomic politician's trademark slouch and inexpressive face. (I couldn't help being reminded of actor Max Schreck as a vampire in the 1922 silent classic "Nosferatu.") Servillo, who also appears in Gomorrah, proves himself worthy of an Oscar nomination, although there's no way in hell he'll ever get it. Andreotti's associates and hangers-on are portrayed with equal intensity, and Anna Bonaiuto is especially noteworthy as Andreotti's long-suffering wife, Livia. "I know who you are," she tells her slippery husband. "You can't spend your life with a man and not know who he is. I know who you are." The music -- from Vivaldi to Sibelius to Teho Teardo's originals -- and the cinematography by Luca Bigazzi add intensity. Of course, there's the danger that Americans will get lost in the maze of unfamiliar characters and events -- but Servillo's performance will save the day.
Reviewer V.A. Musetto
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Widescreen
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer In both meanings of the word, Il Divo is sensational.
Jay Weissberg, Variety An intensely political film so wildly inventive and witty that it will become a touchstone for years to come, Il Divo is a masterpiece
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly You need know nothing about Italian politics to completely enjoy the fantastical, Fellini-fied, tragi-comic, biographical fun-for-all Il Divo.

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