Not only the first film born from a non-original subject (the novel of the same name by Eshkol Nevo, published in Italy by Neri Pozza) but also the one where there is not even a joke, a shadow of irony. Michele Apicella now dead and buried but also his older brother Giovanni (protagonist of the previous one My mother) disappeared from the horizon. The certainties and pride that had been of the splendid forty-year-old give way to the pain and disenchantment of an over-sixty-year-old who wonders about the world around him.
Not a new question for Nanni Moretti but that in this Three floors, presented on Sunday in competition, takes on a dimension of unprecedented hardness. The floors of the film and the novel are those of a bourgeois building where three families live, each Tolstoian unhappy in its own way. Lucio and Sara (Riccardo Scamarcio and Elena Lietti) have a seven-year-old daughter, Francesca, who from time to time they entrust to the elderly couple opposite, Giovanna and Renato (Anna Bonaiuto and Paolo Graziosi). But when one evening the little girl gets lost in the park near the house with a not very present Renato, Lucio can’t get it out of his head that the old man has tried to take some illicit liberty.
Upstairs Monica lives (Alba Rohrwacher) whom we see forced to go to the hospital alone to give birth because her husband, Giorgio (Adriano Giannini), for a long time away from home for work while she, overwhelmed by the responsibilities of motherhood and the weight of loneliness, is afraid of falling into obsessive depression that the mother already preys on. Above is a couple of magistrates, Vittorio and Dora (Nanni Moretti and Margherita Buy), whose twenty-year-old son Andrea (Alessandro Sperduti) we see in the very first scene investing and killing a woman, then breaking through the window of Lucio’s house with the car because in evident state of intoxication. An accident to which the parents and especially the father react with an icy sense of justice: whoever made a mistake must pay and their son’s disordered requests for help are useless.
These three stories, that they will intertwine and evolve, pushing everyone to be stubborn in their own convictions – Lucio falling into the obsession with guilt; Vittorio slamming his contempt in his son’s face; Giorgio does not understand his wife’s needs – they end up drawing the picture of a world incapable of generosity, sure of its own certainties and its own schematisms that Moretti tells us about purifying his style, already traditionally sober, to the limits of abstraction. The effects, the few but unequivocal utterances (let him go, which has already made us suffer too much, says the son’s judge) and the pity that at times seem to peep out are told of the rigidity of each one, never moved participation but rather inevitable awareness of pain.
As well as acting seems to be guidedand from the desire for abstraction and not for empathy (let alone empathy), accompanied by a photograph (by Michele D’Attanasio) which seems to make a point of pride in avoiding any vivacity. And when towards the end a ray of hope or at least of awareness of the needs of others peeps out, what remains inside you, however, is the desperate and gloomy picture of a world that no longer knows how to listen and listen to itself, where the Morettian disenchantment, no longer the shield of the irony of the previous films, it ends up showing itself in all its gloom. Which will certainly not be swept away by the (anonymous) joy of a milonga on the street but only – perhaps – by the vitality that the new generations will have to be able to find.
In competition on the same day as Moretti, the Japanese Ryusuke Hamaguchi (with Drive My Car, Drive my car) and the French Mia Hansen-Lve (with Bergman Island, Bergman’s Island) respectively turn to theater and cinema to face a path of knowledge of s . In the first film (grade 8/9), a director (Hidetoshi Nishijima) agrees to stage Uncle Vanya in a festival away from home, in Hiroshima, also to elaborate the death of his wife to whom a tormented and passionate relationship tied him. A loss that has left a profound mark and that the trials, in which a possible lover of his wife participates, only make it even more lacerating. Bergman Island (grade 6 – -) instead tells the summer of a couple (Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth) on the island of Far, in the house that once belonged to Ingmar Bergman: she is writing a film that she tells her husband director and that piano takes visual form (thanks to Mia Wasikowska and Anders Danielsen Lie).
But if in the Japanese film the work on the text of Chekhov, with its message of resilience and confrontation with pain, the tool to dig into the marked souls of its protagonists (to which is added that of the silent driver who drives the director, hence the title of the film), in the French one the Bergmanian spirit is limits to a series of quotes that remain very far from the knots that shake the two couples in the film, the real one on vacation on the island and the one invented by the screenwriter, ending up relying too much on the beauty of the Nordic landscapes that had already attracted the Swedish director. On the other hand, Hamaguchi’s journey is quite different, using words – pice or everyday life – to give shape to an elusive and intense pain at the same time and which, at the end of three hours of film, offers a moment of unexpected but very intense emotion. entrusting Sonia’s final monologue to a mute actress who knows how to convey emotion with the language of signs.