Director Roberto Ando’s timely political dramady uncannily presaged Italy’s national elections held last February.
The story begins with Olivieri (Toni Servillo, star of this year’s opening night film The Great Beauty), the disillusioned leader of a party resembling Italy’s Partito Democratico, who escapes in the middle of an election campaign. Olivieri’s handler, Andrea (Valerio Mastandrea, The First Beautiful Thing IFF11), is left desperate and he convinces Olivieri’s twin, Giovanni (also played by Servillo), a philosophy professor just out of a psychiatric hospital to masquerade as his brother.
Surprisingly, Giovanni takes to his new role and connects with the people, cutting through the political doublespeak. At the same time, Olivieri is happy soul-searching in Paris at the home of his old flame, Danielle (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, also starring in IFF13’s The Landlords).
Servillo’s consummate performance of twin roles is yet another example of his range and talent. The exceptional cast is comprised of some of Italy’s best actors who embrace each of their roles wholeheartedly, as they skewer Italy’s political establishment in this gentle critique.