Film Review: I Galantuomini

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Rome International Film Festival, In Competition

ROME -- Edoardo Winspeare is one of Italy's most talented filmmakers, who sets his films in his native Apulia, usually among small-time criminals or the poor. But his poetic touch works against him in "I Galantuomini," fundamentally a melodrama on unrequited love set among the truly violent SCU (Sacra Corona Unita, the Apulian mafia) in the 1990s. Sound festival fare, the would-be weeper will have better chances at broader arthouse releases if marketed as a love rather than crime story, however.

Ignazio (Fabrizio Gifuni) has been secretly in love with Lucia (Donatella Finocchiaro) since childhood, and his feelings seem no less diminished when he returns years later to his native Lecce to work as the chief anti-SCU prosecutor. Which is why it takes him a while to believe what we know all along -- that Lucia is behind the murders and arms trafficking he is investigating.

Finocchiaro picked up a Best Actress win at the festival and her performance is by no means weak, but her Lucia is one maudlin crime boss. Ignazio is also prone to tearing up during dramatic moments and such existential dilemmas from the two are hard to swallow given the nature of their work.

Production companies: Acaba Produzioni, RAI Cinema.
Cast: Donatella Finocchiaro, Fabrizio Gifuni, Gioia Spaziani, Giuseppe Fiorello, Giorgio Colangeli, Marcello Prayer, Lamberto Probo.
Director: Edoardo Winspeare.
Screenwriter: Alessandro Valenti, Andrea Piva, Winspeare.
Producer: Fabrizio Mosca.
Director of photography: Paolo Carnera.
Production designer: Sabrina Balestra.
Music: Gabriele Rampino.
Costume designer: Silvia Nebiolo.
Editor: Luca Benedetti.
Sales Agent: Coach 14.
No rating, 107 minutes.
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