REVIEW: Vincere

Vincere
Directed by: Marco Bellocchio
Written by: Marco Bellocchio & Daniela Ceselli (screenplay)
Starring: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi, Corrado Invernizzi, and Michela Cescon

Benito Mussolini and the exploits of Fascist Italy are criminally underfilmed in the annals of WWII films when compared to Hitler’s Nazi regime.  Because Mussolini took a back seat, his atrocities appear to somehow be less atrocious in the eyes of history and film.  Vincere, an astounding Italian film from Marco Bellocchio, does not show us his direct rule, but rather slims its focus on his horrendous treatment of his first wife, Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno).

Dalser falls in love with him from the moment she sees him challenge God in a crowded forum.  It’s the beginning of his revolution, when he still had time for love between the killing.  This isn’t a movie about Mussolini, though.  This movie is about Ida, who he abandons for another woman after he goes to war.  He leaves a son and a woman scorned behind.

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SPOTLIGHT: Angelina Jolie

As if she didn’t have enough cameras flashing on her, I’ve decided to shed even more light on the career, not private life, of one of America’s biggest obsessions.  As one-half of a Hollywood power couple, Angelina Jolie’s screen presence often takes the backseat to her personal life.  Like her husband, her career is full of impressive roles.  As I mentioned in my Salt review, Ms. Jolie seems to have two types of screen performances she excels at.  There is the emotionally charged Oscar contender, and the kick-ass action heroine.  While acclaim is shoveled upon her for the former, the latter brings home the bacon.  Jolie, like Meryl Streep, is an undeniable box office draw for the female market.  The number one success of a movie like Wanted will never be attributed to James McAvoy.  As Jolie’s career continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how she manipulates her public image and directs it towards a cause, or to making people feel something for that character on the page. Here are her current five best performances.

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