Le Fate Ignoranti

Mature, moving odd-couple romance from Italy

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OPENS APRIL 25, CERT 15, 105 MINS

The subtitles of this Italian movie from Turkish-born director Ferzan Ozpetek translate its title as “Ignorant Fairies”, which gives pause as to whether that translator will ever work again. But it’s all uphill from there in a splendid, subtle, almost-love story which deals with grief and healing with deft courage and sharp comic poise.

In Rome, Antonia (Margherita Buy) is shattered when her husband of 15 years is killed. She finds he had a long-time lover, Michele, and tracks ‘her’ down. But Michele’s a ‘he’ (Stefano Accorsi). At first the mourning rivals snap at each other, but as Antonia’s drawn into the non-judgmental world of his gay community, curiosity leads to bonding. However, Ozpetek shies away from any obvious, idealised arc: there are scenes of emotional ambivalence which only, say, Moretti would risk. A strikingly sensitive film, in all the right ways. Buy is a presence of graceful strength, there’s not a false note throughout. Quality.

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