Sweet Dreams (Fai Bei Sogni)
Director: Marco Bellocchio
Cast: Valerio Mastandrea, Berenice Bejo
Language: Italian with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Italy, France 2016 134 mins. (15)
Released by Soda Pictures
Why did Massimo's (Nicolo Cabras) mother (Barbara Ronchi) die? How could she leave him? How did she die? The 9-year-old boy won't accept the priest's explanation. In his teens, Massimo (Dario Del Pero) can't accept his science teacher's (Roberto Herlitza) advice to acknowledge his mother's death - she lives in New York, he tells friends. As an adult working as a journalist, Massimo (Valerio Mastandrea) remains emotionally fragile but confronts the truth of the past when his father (Guido Caprino) dies.
Screened at Director's Fortnight at 2016 Cannes, Marco Bellocchio's insightful and evocative study of grief based on journalist Massimo Gramellini's autobiographical novel 'Sweet Dreams, Little One' moves between his childhood in the 1960s and the 1990s, adulthood, life as a successful journalist at La Stampa and his relationship with Elisa (Berenice Bejo) reflects his emotional fragility. Sounds heavy. It's not. Exquisitely shot by Daniele Cipri, dotted with surreal moments and understated performances - Valerio Mastandrea is terrific and Nicolo Cabras is a real find, 'Sweet Dreams' is accomplished, mature cinema.