To Rome With Love

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Re: To Rome With Love

Postby Reza » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:50 am

Snick's Guy wrote:I am hoping that Judy Davis will one day win a well-deserved oscar -- she'll have to wait, as I don't even see a nomination for her from this pix.


Judy Davis is outstanding in Eye of the Storm, an Australian film that will be released in America in September. However, the film is not mainstream enough to get her noticed during the year end shuffle. Although if an ''unknown'' like Jacki Weaver could sneak in for Animal Kingdom, I don't see why Judy Davis can't make the list.....or for that matter Charlotte Rampling and Geoffrey Rush, also for the same film, both giving superb performances as well. In the end it all depends on who gets strongly pushed by the studios.

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Re: To Rome With Love

Postby Sabin » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:13 pm

There's a chance that To Rome with Love will get a Best Comedic/Musical Picture nomination at the Golden Globes. Depends on the competition.

Judy Davis has nothing to do in this film and she's barely in it. You do not want her to win for this, trust me. :)
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Re: To Rome With Love

Postby Snick's Guy » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:46 pm

I am hoping that Judy Davis will one day win a well-deserved oscar -- she'll have to wait, as I don't even see a nomination for her from this pix.

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Re: To Rome With Love

Postby Sabin » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:08 pm

Honestly? To Rome With Love is the most fitting title for this film.

There's nothing really to say about this one. It's going to divide people into two camps: those who think it's pleasant and fun, and those who just completely dismiss it. I suppose it's possible to get riled up at Woody Allen for his cultural ignorance, but why bother? At best, it's intermittently diverting travel-porn. At worst, one has had it with said intermittently diverting travel-porn.

Four vignettes. The country-wed Italian couple engage in an obvious sex farce almost entirely devoid of laughs save for some nice character moments by these attractive actors. The Benigni-fame and Woody Allen subplots both share one fatal weakness, which is if you expand the scope of the joke, that doesn't necessarily escalate it or make it funnier. A man singing opera on-stage in a shower is funny in the exact same way as if he is performing long stretches of an opera. Similarly, Benigni faces paparazzi bombardment for the same kind of fame. Wouldn't it be funnier if the degree to which he is famous goes through different stages? They both have a few laughs, but...eh.

I have a critic friend in Chicago who hates everything Woody Allen has done since Sweet and Lowdown because he finds a casual hatred towards his characters, and likes this film the most in the past thirteen years because he pretty much doesn't have time to do so. You take the charming Jesse Eisenberg/Ellen Page story and how they're followed around by Alec Baldwin, which is pretty clearly Eisenberg from the future. The fact that he is introduced as a real person to some of these characters early on is entirely forgotten after a beat...which is absolutely inspired! No contrivances to keep them bumping into each other. They choose to engage with him when they feel like it. It's a breezy little vignette that allows Jesse Eisenberg to play the Woody Allen surrogate that was always going to happen. It's not terribly funny or well-written, but the sleight of hand with which Baldwin pops in and out is done about as well as it could without it being the much better film Woody clearly doesn't have it in him to do anymore. I bring up my friend because truly had Woody Allen expanded this story to feature-length, it would have likely been fairly intolerable like many of his other recent films.

...eh. Can't really tell anyone to go out and see it. There's nothing really to recommend in it. Worth renting and checking out I suppose, or waiting until it's on television if you must.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: To Rome With Love

Postby Sonic Youth » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:12 am

Now called "To Rome With Love", not that anyone will remember by Oscar time.

To Rome With Love: LAFF Review
by Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter


Woody Allen scored artistically and commercially on his European tour stops in London, Barcelona and Paris but gets a face full of linguini for his efforts on To Rome With Love. At its worst squirm- and grimace-inducing, this is an ultra-upscale touristy spin through the Eternal City as if arranged by the concierge at the Excelsior Hotel. Rehashing gags and motifs familiar from previous Allen films, all of them better done the first time around, the Sony Pictures Classics release might benefit initially from the good will generated by last year's Midnight in Paris, Allen's biggest hit ever, but word-of-mouth will nip hopeful expectations in the bud. Having opened in Italy on April 20 only in Italian-dubbed prints, the film had its English-language world premiere Thursday at the Los Angeles Film Festival, with limited release to begin June 22.

All things considered, it's a relief to learn that Allen's next production will be set in New York and San Francisco, as he would seem to have played out his string in Europe for the moment. Although the character he portrays here is a reluctantly retired opera director who discovers a brilliant tenor, Allen the writer-director has gone tone-deaf this time around, somehow not realizing that the nonstop prattling of the less-than-scintillating characters almost never rings true.

Although they are intercut, the four separate story strands never interconnect -- one's expectations that a big, Fellini-esque climactic gathering might be in the offing prove unfounded. But it's astounding that a writer as skilled as Allen doesn't even bother to respect the unity of time; one couple's story seems confined to a single day, while others appear to spin out across many weeks or longer.

The fact that Allen, acting in his first film since Scoop in 2006, plays an opera director is not entirely far-fetched, in that Allen himself staged Puccini's one-act Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera four years ago -- and quite well, thank you very much. However, his character of Jerry is the classic Allen kvetch, who arrives in Rome with his wife, Phyllis (Judy Davis), to meet the prospective husband of daughter Hayley (Alison Pill) but can only complain about commies, unions and airplane turbulence.

The awe-inspiring opera singer Jerry overhears in the shower just happens to be the father of his future son-in-law. After strenuous protests, mortician Giancarlo (real-life tenor Fabio Armiliato) finally agrees to a tryout, which flops. Why? Because he can only sing beautifully in the shower. Jerry's solution? Stage a Pagliacci in which the lead character is always taking a shower, which results in an elaborate production in which a nude Giancarlo, his midsection artfully covered by opaque glass, can sing all his songs while scrubbing away. However bad this sounds, it's funnier read than experienced.

Also visiting the city is architect John (Alec Baldwin), who encounters Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), a young man who lives in the same Trastevere neighborhood he did back in his 20s. Accompanying Jack back to his apartment, John meets Jack's appealing girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig) and hears of the imminent arrival of Sally's great friend Monica (Ellen Page), an L.A. actress immediately pegged by the older man as “a self-absorbed pseudo-intellectual.”

A young lady who, within minutes of meeting someone for the first time, thinks nothing of telling in great detail about her one major lesbian relationship while insisting she likes men better, Monica is ill-advisedly thrown together by Sally with Jack, who quickly becomes smitten. Foolishly catering to Monica's every whim, Jack suddenly finds the older but wiser John hovering alongside him, but invisible to anyone else, acting as a sardonic mentor and ever-ready to comment upon Jack's amorous follies. Baldwin is well suited to this sardonic role but, unfortunately, Allen long ago wrote this routine a hundred times better when he used Humphrey Bogart as his own romantic mentor in Play It Again, Sam.

John's sage insights notwithstanding, Jack allows Monica to wrap him around her little finger in a storyline that at least has a bit more going for it than the others and, with further elaboration, could have filled out a film of its own. Secondhand goods that it is, this playlet is still preferable to the others, which are all one-joke affairs.

Another strand focuses on a nondescript fellow (Roberto Benigni) who inexplicably finds himself hounded 24 hours per day by journalists, TV reporters and photographers who ask him in breathless tones about what he had for breakfast and all manner of other quotidian inanities. Eventually, when he finally asks why he's being besieged, someone points out, “You're famous for being famous.” This is Allen's comment on the annoying side of being a celebrity, but it plays like a faint echo of Stardust Memories.

The most strained and just plain silly thread charts the implausible romantic distractions experienced by provincial newlyweds when they become separated for the longest day since the Normandy invasion. When sweet, innocent-seeming Milly (quite cute Alessandra Mastronardi) heads off from their hotel in search of a hair salon, her “middle-class mouse” husband Antonio (Alessandro Tiberi) is immediately assaulted by knockout hooker Anna (Penelope Cruz), who mistakes him for the customer to whom she's been well paid in advance to give the royal treatment.

When milquetoasty Antonio's fussy old relatives arrive, the kid idiotically passes the hottie in a red dress off as his wife, leading to all sorts of embarrassing moments, including when nearly every man at a fancy party turns out to be one of Anna's regular customers. Meanwhile, Milly can't find the hairdresser but does get sucked into the Roman movie world and the bed of a local film star. Unbelievable in every detail, the vignette seems to be suggesting that some hot sex with others will stoke the fires of a virginal couple, but it plays like bad bedroom farce.

For the most part, the characters are too stupid and blind to their own follies to accept even in this farcical context. The best the fine actors assembled can hope for is to avoid embarrassment, which only a few manage to do. Darius Khondji's cinematography bathes the already beautiful city in burnished, golden hues, but even the source-music score, beginning with Volare, is below the director's usual standards.
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Re: Nero Fiddled

Postby dws1982 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:33 pm

From what I read, it's a series of four vignettes...not sure if the vignettes will overlap or if they'll all be self-contained.

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Re: Nero Fiddled

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:46 pm

I figured it's a modern comedy set in Romeo just as his other recent films have been modern comedies set in other European cities. The title is just to draw a parallel to ancient times. It has nothing to do with either the Decameron or Nero. Cute title though. I wonder who among the ecclectic cast have actual starring roles and who among them are only making cameo appearances. I can picture Allen and Benigni doing an Abbott and costello "who's on first" routine at the Trevi Fountain or some other Roman landmark.
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Re: Nero Fiddled

Postby Sabin » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:29 am

I like The Bop Decameron a lot more. Nero Fiddled sounds like one of his New Yorker stories. And not a good one. It basically tells me GET READY FOR SOME MIDDLEBROW FUN IN ROME! I haven't loved a Woody Allen movie since Bullets over Broadway, and I'd like to at least once more before one or us dies.
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Re: Nero Fiddled

Postby Damien » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:16 am

I assumed it was a modern re-working of Boccaccio. Lord, what a crazy quilt cast.
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To Rome With Love

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:51 pm

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - What's in a name? In Woody Allen's case, it could be the difference between mass confusion and commercial success.

The filmmaker announced Thursday that he has changed the title of his latest feature film, from "The Bob Decameron" to "Nero Fiddled."

According to Allen, the decision came after he encountered too much befuddlement over the name.

"I couldn't believe how few people had heard of 'The Decameron,' even in Rome," Allen noted of the production, which filmed this summer in Rome. "And the few that did assumed the movie was based on Boccaccio's tales, which it's not.

"Anyhow," Allen cracked, "I changed the title to 'Nero Fiddled,' which is the first time I've changed a title since my last minute switch of 'Anhedonia' to 'Annie Hall.'"

The newly rechristened film, which stars Allen, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Roberto Benigni, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page, will be released in 2012.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire


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