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The Place (The Price of a Wish)

Direction: Paolo Genovese

Year: 2017

Duration: 105 min.

Country: Italy

Film script : Paolo Genovese, Isabella Aguilar

Cast : Valerio Mastandrea, Marco Giallini, Alessandro Borghi, Silvio Muccino, Alba Rohrwacher, Vittoria Puccini, Sabrina Ferilli, Silvia D’Amico, Rocco Papaleo, Giulia Lazzarini, Vinicio Marchioni

Genre: Drama

Music: MaurizioFilardo

Photography : FabrizioLucci

Producer : Leone Film Group, Lotus Productions

Distributor in Spain : Diamond Films España

Original version in Italian subtitles in Spanish

2017: David di Donatello Awards:8 Nominations, including Best Director

SYNOPSIS

At a bar called The Place, a man sees ten characters come and go every day who come to talk to him. This gives them instructions on how to satisfy their own desires; in fact, he stipulates a contract with them; to be more beautiful, to spend a night with a porn star, to save the son, to recover his sight and to find God are just some of the wishes that the various characters express to the man in the bar. “It can be done,” he replies, as he writes on his planner. But you have to pay a price, almost always very high: steal a good sum of money, put a bomb in a place, rape a woman… If you take it, the desire is guaranteed. Each of them will decide whether to accept or reject the agreement.

THE CRITICISM

“Halfway between suspense and storytelling, it manages to show a complex human map, even without falling into some easy solutions. It grabs the action and doesn’t let go of the viewer. It entertains and keeps the audience engaged”

After the great commercial success of Perfettisconosciuti (with a successful Spanish remake signed by Álex De la Iglesia last year, the highest-grossing film in our cinema last year), Paolo Genovese offers in his new film the ensemble of actors and characters from that film, once again posing moral dilemmas and a portrait something gray about the selfishness and frustrations of the contemporary individual; although this time his game falls and he does not maintain the same interest and bad drool of the aforementioned film. 

A man sitting for many hours at the bar The Place he sees how ten people go and comes to talk to him. This gives them instructions on how to satisfy their own desires; in fact, he stipulates an authentic contract with them. They both seek to satisfy their desires and the reward is something they fervently desire; recover her sight, be prettier or save her husband from Alzheimer’s, among other dilemmas.

From an attractive premise that once again seeks to offer a dark portrait of human egoism, Genovese is surrounded by a choral cast full of talented names from Italian cinema led by the man who sets the directions, an always impeccable Valerio Mastandrea, and surrounded by names like Alba Rohrwacher, Marco Giallini or Sabrina Ferilli that addresses dilemmas and subplots that are intertwined by the protagonist’s own power but that weakens in its strength and bad milk.  Resulting in general lines a film of choral and theatrical forms with less punch and without flashes behind the camera losing steam in its progress and ins and outs of the script, although the basic approach and the notable actors minimally our attention does give the feeling that Genovese could have twisted the approach a little more and the subplot of romantic interest between the protagonist and a waitress from the bar takes a sappy role that further loosens his apparent daring intention

Next screening: February 24, 2022

SMALL COUNTRY by Eric Barbier

Gabriel is 10 years old and lives in a comfortable expat neighborhood in Burundi, his “little country”. Gabriel is a normal, happy and carefree boy who lives daily adventures with his friends and his little sister. Suddenly, in 1993, tensions in neighboring Rwanda erupted, endangering both his family and his innocence.

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