Film Review: Cannes Winner ‘Reality’ From ‘Gomorrah’ Director Matteo Garrone

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Matteo Garrone is a notable talent. His highly acclaimed 2008 film “Gomorrah” earned praise around the world and the follow-up, “Reality,” won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last year. It’s a step down from his previous work as it’s less ambitious and doesn’t quite come together but it features enough interesting ideas about our fame-obsessed culture to see why it connected with the French fest jury. And it does nothing to stop that feeling that Garrone is a major filmmaker.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

It makes sense that a film called “Reality” opens with a very abnormal event — a wedding in a horse-drawn carriage with people dressed like clowns and lords & ladies while doves fill the air. This is not a common, everyday “Reality.” And Garrone’s film is about a man in a very dull, plain reality who gets a glimpse of the heightened one on his country’s hit TV show, “Big Brother.” The result is not unlike Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy” as filtered through Fellini, even if it’s not quite as accomplished as that incredible mash-up might make it sound.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Reality” in our reviews section.

Luciano (Aniello Arena) is a hit in his small town near Naples. He’s just a local fishmonger but he’s one of those guys who turns into an entertainer at weddings. “You got to go on TV!” his friends and family shout. And his daughter is a huge fan of “Big Brother.” When the show comes to audition in the local mall, his daughter pushes him into auditioning. He gets the callback to Rome, where he spends an hour talking to the show psychologist. Luciano takes this as a good sign. It’s probably not.

The next act of “Reality” features the unraveling of an already-edgy man. Luciano becomes convinced that he’s in some sort of real-world audition, that the producers of “Big Brother” have sent people to watch him in his normal existence as a fishmonger. Here’s where “Reality” gets thematically fascinating. Luciano starts behaving like he arguably should in the eyes of God because he thinks he’s being watched by a TV producer. Shouldn’t we always be kind to others? Things get really problematic when Luciano sells his fishstand to spruce up the house for interviews that will probably never come.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Reality” review.

“Reality” stars Aniello Arena, Loredana Simioli, and Nando Paone. It was written and directed by Matteo Garrone and opens at the Music Box in Chicago on March 29, 2013.

Reality
Reality
Photo credit: Oscilloscope

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Michael Shannon and Travis A. Knight, Red Orchid's TURRET

    CHICAGO – When in the presence of a powerful acting force like Michael Shannon, the depth of performance is emotional and passionately essential. He co-leads with Travis A. Knight in Red Orchid Theatre’s World Premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Turret,” just extended to June 22nd at the Chopin Theatre.

  • Joe Turner's Come and Gone Goodman Theatre

    CHICAGO – The late playwright August Wilson left a gift to the world in the form of his “American Century Cycle,” a series of plays each individually set in a decade of the 20th Century, focusing on the black experience. Chicago’s Goodman Theatre presents Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” now through May 19th, 2024 (click here).

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker