Title: Me & You (Io e Te)
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Starring: Jacopo Olmo Antinori, Tea Falco, Sonia Bergamasco, Veronica Lazar, Tommaso Ragno, Pippo Delbono.
When it comes to Bernardo Bertolucci, undoubtably the expectations are very high: he shocked with ‘Last Tango In Paris,’ enchanted with ‘The Last Emperor’ and had a great come back with ‘The Dreamers’ in 2003. Now the Italian Maestro returns with a story on borderline siblings.
Lorenzo (Jacopo Olmo Antinori), a quirky 14-year-old loner who has difficult relationships with his parents and peers, decides to take a break from it all by hiding in his building’s neglected basement, when everyone thinks he’s skiing with his classmates during on a school trip. For an entire week, he will finally avoid all conflict and pressure and abide with what is expected of him. But an unexpected visit from Lorenzo’s older half-sister Olivia (Tea Falco) changes everything. The worldly 25-year old beauty has a problematic and fragile state that upsets Lorenzo’s total escape from reality. Their forced cohabitation, in the basement’s confined space, brings forth confrontation and old resentments, but also a need for affection and intimacy. A few emotional days and nights with his sister Olivia will inspire Lorenzo to see the world through new eyes.
Digging through Bertolucci’s filmography one will not help but notice his interest in incest: in ‘Before the Revolution, a young man embarks on an affair with his aunt, ‘La Luna’ brought Oedipal romance to our screens, and ‘The Dreamers’ exploited the sexual openness between brotherly love to discomforting effect. In ‘Me and You’, the relationship between brother and sister is unashamedly sweet.
Nonetheless the story seems to go on a slippery slope. The relationship between the troubled siblings has a soap opera element, that tries to make an auteur movie out of ‘Home Alone.’ The two protagonists – Jacopo Olmo Antinori and Tea Falco – are good performers, albeit the over-dramatic impositions of the script, which is the screen adaptation of Niccolò Ammaniti’s novel (whose previous novel ‘I’m Not Scared,’ was also adapted into a beautiful movie directed by Gabriel Salvatores). But the other components of the cast (Sonia Bergamasco, Veronica Lazar, Tommaso Ragno, Pippo Delbono), deliver a very artificial and forceful performance.
Currently Bertolucci is said to be working on a historical romance centring on 16th-century classical musician and murderer Carlo Gesualdo, perhaps this will bring back the old grandeur to his film-making.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi