Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Talent: Toni Servillo, Eleana Sofia Ricci, Riccardo Scamarcio
Released: 19 April
A decade after Sorrentino tackled former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti in Il Divo, he returns to the political fray in Loro, his biopic of another former PM Silvio Berlusconi, someone who is almost beyond parody given the shadow he cast over Italian media and society serving in four governments. Of course, he is also uniquely Italian encapsulating all the chauvinism and tawdry sexism one might associate with a wolf whistling, puffer jacker wearing, moped head.
Loro follows two main threads. In the first, a young, regional businessman (Riccardo Scamarcio) who uses escorts to bribe and corrupt local officials seeks access to Rome and Berlusconi, hoping to acquire greater power, while the second sees Berlusconi (Sorrentino stalwart Toni Servillo) battling personal and political difficulties. This is ‘bunga bunga’ era Berlusconi which saw him host lavish sex parties.
Originally released as a two-part film in Italy, its condensed version highlights editing suite issues. Occasional scenes jump, like one of the many models, under water only to resurface in a modified sense of location. Loro does bear all of Sorrentino’s seductive fashion-shoot glamour with a tremendous soundtrack (including a Villagers collaboration with Nico Muhly on Fortunate Child) but with a running time of 150 minutes, patience with this beautiful sprawl begins to wear thin.
Meanwhile, Italian magistrates have opened an investigation into a possible murder after the mysterious death of a Moroccan model on 1 March who was a regular guest at Berlusconi’s ‘bunga bunga’ parties. Berlusconi (82) intends to run for the European Parliament in May.
Words: Michael McDermott