Mobster melodrama for girls
OPENS AUGUST 15, CERT 15, 94 MINS
Unusual this; a mob story told from a female point of view. Dusky beauty Angela (Donatella Finocchiaro), with her perfect vermilion manicure and Ava Gardner eyebrows, manages a shoe store in Palermo that doubles as a front for her husband Saro’s heroin business. When Saro hires smouldering hunk Masino (rising star Andrea Di Stefano), the mutual attraction between them develops into an affair. But the police are listening in, recording the lovers’ phone calls, and when they arrest Saro and his gang, Angela is forced to choose between giving evidence in exchange for the tapes’ destruction or keeping mum about her husband’s business?but at what price?
It’s pasta plain girly melodrama, really. But writer/director Roberta Torre has a delicate, playful touch, employing handheld moves and assorted tricks, showing a native’s feel for Sicily’s peeling buildings and stark light. Finocchiaro, a professional lawyer making her film debut here, has an old-fashioned bombshell sexiness and expressive features that speak volumes for her character. Not a full-blown hankie wetter, but an honest piece of work.