2 June 2009 | jotix100
Orson Welles was invited in 1947 to participate in the film "Black Magic", directed by Gregory Ratoff. At the time, Mr. Welles was getting over the painful experience he suffered after the divorce from Rita Hayworth. His arrival to Italy went mostly unnoticed, as we witness his arrival at Rome's airport; his presence there is upstaged by that of Tyrone Power. One of the reporters insists in calling him Mr. Hayworth, something that must have hurt the wound in his heart.
When the shooting begins in the fabled Cinecitta, everything is chaos, as director Ratoff tries to rein all what is going on in the set. To make matters worse, the leading lady, the gorgeous Lea Padovani, doesn't seem to warm up to her more famous co-star. When one of the players in the film dies right in front of Mr. Welles, he discovers a list with names of prominent Christian democrats. Curiosity gets the best of him, as he wants to follow the motives behind the deaths.
It was a difficult time for Italy. Having been defeated, the country was in turmoil with thousands of refugees living in squalor. The communist party had a strong following, something that Orson Wells notices right away. His the help of his young driver, Tommaso, he goes into an unknown territory and gets sucked in the mystery behind the politics of the time.
As directed by Oliver Parker, the film is a curiosity piece about what went on in Italy at the time, from the real Orson Welles perspective. Danny Huston, who portrays the American genius, has an uncanny resemblance and is about the best thing in the picture. Diego Luna, is seen as Tommaso, and lovely Paz Vega, has some good moments as Lea Padovani, the leading lady.