Is there an auteur that makes a better first 15 minutes of his/her films? Il Divo, The Great Beauty— both explode out of the gates. Loro is no exception, the spectacle (both in gaudy content and energetic filmmaking style) in the opening here is awe-inspiring- cinema. Unfortunately Sorrentino’s films are getting longer and longer and not the other way around.
Astounding imagery and a meditation on decadence and corruption— in other words- a Sorrentino film. This is auteur cinema.
It’s a nice return to form going back with his native Italian tongue and working with the talented Toni Servillo- his male muse, his Marcello Mastroianni—here Servillo plays Silvio Berlusconi- Prime Minster—though the best parts in this film are in the beginning focused on Riccardo Scamarcio’s Sergio character
Sorrentino is clearly a Fellini acolyte – the circus and indulgences of life
Gratuity and greed- Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street certainly is a comparable film
Shots of parties, orgies, rich compositions, décor and production design—in the beginning especially there’s a low ASL- average shot length, cocaine and beautiful women
In more than a few spots – Sorrentino can really set a frame (one is with Scamarcio and actress Kasia Smutniak on a bed – an overhead shot with everything around it spaced and detailed perfectly—there’s another one overlooking the water in a conversation with the two Toni Servillo characters
There’s a sequence where CGI ecstasy pills rain from the sky—the photography is sumptuous, bikini-clad women, slow-motion photography- it plays like a perfume commercial at times
Sardinia a character in the film—one hell of a setting not to mention the mansion of the titular character
The emptiness of this lifestyle and existence is Fellini- but it’s Antonioni too—the two Italian masters and this captures that- there’s an explosion of materialistic items here in Loro that is a nod to Antonioni’sending of Zabriskie Point
Sorrentino is not an overly gifted writer. Some of the platitudes that submarine Youth (which is in English) don’t hurt Loro as much- it comes off better in Italian
A nice long tracking shot of Servillo’s character and Scamarcio’s character walking at Servillo’s mansion
The shots are lovely but largely they live in isolation – the film lacks a formal interconnectedness that could make it a top 10 of the year quality film
As evidence of the Felliniesque style and influence on Sorrentino- there’s a shot here of Servillo’s character arriving at a birthday party in Naples and there are people attacking the camera (which is now POV) – this is 100% 8 ½ — and there’s La Dolce Vita in the text if the obvious influence wasn’t apparent
Again- the strengths of this film are front-loaded – like all of Sorrentino- and unfortunately he’s elongating material – 151 minutes here
I’m in the middle of a Joanna Hogg study and it’s just sort of funny how “British” her films are compared to how italian Sorrentino’s films are– and I’m a big admirer of both.