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Them / Loro
Year: 2018
Production: European

Them / Loro - Italy, France, 2018, 150 min.
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Toni Servillo (Silvio Berlusconi), Elena Sofia Ricci (Veronica Lario), Riccardo Scamarcio (Sergio Morra), Kasia Smutniak (Kira), Euridice Axen (Tamara), Fabrizio Bentivoglio (Santino Recchia), Anna Bonaiuto (Cupa Caiafa)

For the second time in his career, Paolo Sorrentino satirizes the tumult of Italian politics through the experiences of an infamous politician. While his hypnotic Il Divo dramatized the downfall of long-serving former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, Loro's hyperkinetic inspiration is the controversial tycoon/ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi, a man who in real life is still running for office.
It is a corrosive and wildly profane comedy, skewering both its subject and modern Italy itself. Sorrentino places us in the seedy orbit of Sergio (Riccardo Scamarcio), a handsome young guy-on-the-make whose ambition is to leave his provincial southern city of Taranto for Rome and get close to Berlusconi. His means of doing so is sordid but highly effective. Trafficking beautiful young women as escorts to attend parties and events proves to be his stepping stone into the halls of power. Once Sergio has arrived, so to speak, the increasingly embattled Berlusconi becomes the focus.

Through some of the most imaginative sequences in his filmography, Sorrentino elicits a towering performance from Servillo. Somehow boorish but charming, svelte but awkward, Berlusconi is depicted as a mass of contradictions, and the director is determined to treat him as more than a mere buffoon. Abandoned by his political allies, the fallen PM is left to fumble with the private realities behind his public scandals, and this is where the true power of Loro finally lies.
Piers Handling

Selections:
Toronto – program “Masters”
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