Director: Matteo Garrone
Cast: Aniello Arena, Loredana Simioli, Nando Paone, Raffaele Ferrante
Country of Origin: Italy 2012
Genre: Comedy Drama
Language: Italian with English subtitles
Rating: *** '
Reality' is a sentimental realist fable of the worship of celebrity culture and the need for real values and owes more than a little to Martin Scorsese's 'King of Comedies'.
The aerial opening sequence follows a newly wed couple in a glitzy coach and horses to their wedding reception in the La Sonrisa Hotel in Naples. As we enter the hotel we're introduced to the assembled guests amongst whom is Luciano (Aniello Arena), a Neopolitan fishmonger well known for his unfunny party piece, a drag act. Enzo (Raffaele Ferrante) of Big Brother (Grande Fratello) fame has been booked for a personal appearance and Luciano is in awe and envious of the adulation and enthusiastic acclaim given to the celebrity. Immediately seduced by the prospect of fame and fortune Luciano is convinced that he's got to get onto Big Brother. This opening sequence and the wedding photograph of the characters that inhabit this film recall Frederico Fellini.
Luciano goes for a TV audition in a Naples shopping mall and then onto a national try out in Rome's Cinecittta. It's in the bag. Fame and fortune await. The locals are congratulatory and adulatory to the hero in their midst.
Totally seduced, Luciano obsesses with the TV competition and believes that they've sent spies to check on him. His life has changed. Nothing matters but Big Brother.
'Reality' is a sentimental realist fable of the worship of celebrity culture and the need for real values and owes more than a little to Martin Scorsese's 'King of Comedies'. It's predictable and although too long is warm and yes, a very Italian or should I say Neoploitan film and is something of a surprise after 'Gomorrah', Matteo Garrone's mafia tale. There are some wonderful naturalistic performances - Aniello Arena holds centre stage with conviction, Loredana Simioli is captivating as Maria, Luciano's long suffering wife and Raffaele Ferrante, the convicted criminal that Garrone discovered in a prison drama plays Big Brother celebrity Enzo with sleazy ease. The movie's lovingly photographed by Marco Onorato who captures both characters and the atmosphere of the dilapidated but attractive old building where Luciano lives and the final sequence, although somewhat predictable makes its mark.
Released by CURZON FILM WORLD