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  • I saw this movie at the Chicago International Film Festival, along with 18 other movies, and it was, by far, the best movie in the festival. It was the only movie I attended that was applauded by the audience at the end of the film. I see that one of the film critics commented that the film was uneven because it couldn't make up its mind whether it was a comedy or a drama. It was both and worked on both levels, which is one of the reasons I loved it. it made me laugh and it made me cry. I think the best art is often like that. Gabriel Garcia Marquez' book "100 Years of Solitude" and Joseph Heller's "Catch 22" are examples of books that are very funny and very sad, sometimes for exactly the same reasons. I hope this film will be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It deserves the recognition.
  • This is one of the best movies of the year,a wonderful tale of hope,friendship,love and family.For those who want to laugh, cry and especially think about matters that are, ultimately, uncomplicated and simple to think about.The actors are all simply wonderful, the musical score a must, and the script consistent with the aim of the picture: to tell a tale about living life to the hilt, and being happy the way one is.The most beautiful and unforgettable moments are related to the on-screen presence of Tommaso, Marco, Alba and 'the nonna'.This is for me one of the best movies of 2010 and a wonderful,sensitive and unforgettable tale!
  • Ferzan Ozpetek's affection for his characters is truly contagious. A bunch of assorted family members exchange publicly or privately some of their own personal truths. I sat at a Roman movie house with a loving public that not merely followed Ozpetek's world but also became part of it. Riccardo Scamarccio's beautiful face observes and reacts to his own existential dilemma. We're with him even if we can't totally understand his fears. We are in a world that's grown considerably in the last few years but the problematic seems to belong to another era. The father is a bit of a reactionary monster with a very human face. Loved the grandmother, a superlative Ilaria Occhini and the complicated aunt in a wonderful creation by Elena Sofia Ricci.
  • Bravo for Ivan Cotroneo, the talented translator of Cunningham and Kureishi, among other evident skills, and for Fernan Ozpetek, the only Italian director (though he happens to be Turkish by birth) who regularly and reliably features positive gay characters in his films. In an Italy that, at least as issues of sexual identity and respect for difference are concerned, has just barely crossing the threshold of the 1980s, Ozpetek is a rarity and a treasure. The first two-thirds of Mine Vaganti (Loose Cannons) will seem dated to anyone familiar with the last 30 years of queer representation in American cinema, as will the melodramatic, end-of-the-world reaction of Tommaso's father to learning that his son is gay, but the last third hits all the right dramatic and emotional notes and redeems any doubts one might have about the rest. There are some outstanding performances here: Ilaria Occhini as Tommaso's grandmother, and the gorgeous Nicole Grimaudo as the disconsolate and complex Alba. In fairness, I even have to throttle back some of my knee-jerk dislike for Scamarcio. It's not that he's a standout here, but playing a gay character is still a brave move in Italian cinema, especially for an actor who still depends on teen-heartthrob roles for his bread-and-butter. He's certainly no more or less believable as a gay man than are any of the other actors in the film, though even that's a throwback to the days when U.S. cinema divided representations of gay men between "normal," masculine gays (Tommaso—who may be gay, but still knows how to play soccer—his boyfriend, and his brother) and the "sassy gay friends" who are frivolous and effeminate and whose only purpose is to provide comic relief. Still, Mine Vaganti is a giant step forward and a welcome and charming antidote to government silence and Vatican-inspired hate speech.
  • Although, the director wasn't born in Italy ( he is of Turkish origin), he had made a movie in very Italian style.

    First, let me write about a music. It is phenomenal. My favourite choice is Nina Zilli's song "50 mila" - very fresh, soulful and "remind me of summer" track. Italian movies are often associated with good music - so I wasn't surprise with great soundtrack. What amazed me the most, was the great acting. Riccardo Scamarcio as Tommaso was good but Ilaria Ochcini as his grandmother was the greatest character in this movie. Strong, powerful, self-confident and witty.

    A third thing I want to mention is the story. I'm a gay person so I could easy wear in Tomasso shoes. The story was believable, interesting and very bitter-sweet.

    I recommend this title to everyone who like warm, funny comedy-drama. I bet you'll like it for sure.
  • I thought this was a fabulous film, really worth going to see. The acting was superb and it was beautifully shot. I thought the main storyline was great, to me it was really believable, obviously there were over the top elements to add comedy value, but even in this age there are parents who don't except their children being gay. However, whilst I thought the main story was great I didn't think the side story lines quite melded into the film, the story with the grandmother and Nicolo, and the other with Alba (don't want to give away too much, for me didn't quite work. I also think the story with the brother could have been explored more throughly. This film is well worth a couple of hours of your time, despite the ending I still came out smiling. For those of you who aren't too keen on gay scenes there is only one kiss in this film. This film is more about family, expectations and how we all strive not to disappoint our parents. Don't miss it.
  • Fernan Ozpetek delivers another talented direction in a movie which stands somehow apart from his previous ones, being here the entertaining and even funny element more evident and succeeded. The main theme has dramatic and thoughtprovoking implication, being it the difficulty for a son to reveal his homosexuality to his family, and the difficulty, almost the impossibility for the family to accept this revelation. What stands out here, as in all movies directed by Ozpetek, is the delicacy in handling with still difficult and "disturbing" topics, not judging nor siding for any point of view, but simply trying, sometimes with a radical but effective attitude, to offer a believable contemporary frame. At the same time, some funny moments are delivered and help to relieve the story of the easy risk to become too melodramatic or pedantic.

    The cast proves cohesive, each character well characterized and well integrated with the others. The performance offered by Ilaria Occhini, playing the grandmother, is significantly impressive and touching: she is referred as the loose cannon of the family, but she is actually the true emotional core of the family and of the movie, as well. Merit has to be given also to the youngest cast, belonging to the more glamorous and less committed Italian cinematography, but capable to convince and appeal the viewer thanks to their heartfelt interpretations, and not only thanks to their beauty.
  • Ferzan Ozpeteck the Turkish born director is one of the most reliable Italian directors of the last few years. He visits and revisits his own personal universe like an Italian Pedro Almodovar but, not quite. His gay characters are likable but not totally credible, I wonder why. Here a beautiful cast headed by the, getting better, Riccardo Scamarccio tells us a family tragicomedy that, although set in 2010, behaves like something out of the 50's. The high moments are underline by the beautiful Ilaria Occhini as the grandmother, a character with vision and strength. The Ennio Fantastichini character is rather hard to take and the script is clunky at best. Ideas have to be nurtured but here they seem to have been removed out of the oven a bit too early. It needed more time. Pacing is always a problem in Ozpeteck films. I started glancing at my watch half way through the film and that has to do with thought or the lack of it. It's not organic enough. It feels as if the destiny of the characters was decided on the go. Pity. What's good however, it's very good and makes it a film worth seeing.
  • For a film in which each character harbours some tragic secret - of unrequited love, betrayal, unfulfilled ambition, alcoholism, a death wish or suchlike – Ferzan Özpetek's Loose Cannons is surprisingly uplifting.

    In this family drama/rom-com-with-a-twist, the Istanbul-born Italian director combines precise aesthetics with good-looking actors, but, regrettably, Loose Cannons is also full of all-too-predictable stereotypes. This makes the film, despite its underlying theme of the pressures of stifling social conformism, easy on the eye and light of heart. Think Festen meets Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

    The loose cannons of the title are found amongst the Cantone family, the owners of a pasta factory in Puglia, in southern Italy. The father, Vincenzo, has decided that the time has come to hand over responsibilities to his sons, Antonio and Tommaso. His daughter's husband being an imbecile and his daughter being a woman, the brothers are the obvious heirs to the family business.

    Tommaso, ostensibly enrolled in business school in Rome but actually a gay literature student with a novel freshly submitted to a publisher, returns home for a pompous dinner where Vincenzo plans to announce the generational handover in front of the entire family and some new business associates. Tommaso, having just confided in his brother that he is planning to use the occasion to reveal his literary and same-sex relationship aspirations, is himself taken by surprise at the dinner: Antonio beats him to it, coming out of the closet and triggering a heart attack in his father.

    Antonio is disowned and Tommaso, afraid that opening up about his gayness would be a final death knell for his father, reluctantly steps in to manage the factory with the assistance of Alba, a beautiful young family friend with a nose for business deals and eye-catching pasta packaging. No matter how hard he tries, even caressing the freshly-baked pasta every morning as his grandfather used to, Tommaso can't develop a passion for macaroni. He wants to get back to Rome, to his writing and his gay lover, a bookish doctor.

    While the film centres on Tommaso and his dilemmas, Loose Cannons has an assortment of characters with an assortment of repressed emotions. There's the homophobic and patriarchal father; the outwardly stoic, but in reality sensitive, mother; the daughter stuck in a passionless marriage with a podgy husband and two chubby daughters; the spinster auntie indiscreetly drenching her sorrows in whiskey; the diabetic grandmother dishing out pearls of wisdom; and the ugly, frustrated maid.

    Though Loose Cannons is never dull, with plenty of narrative twists, flashback scenes and regular introductions of new characters, all the typecasting soon grates. The scenes with the multi-generational, loud- mouth Cantone family gathering around tables brimming with food quickly come to feel like quirky pasta adverts.

    The film is marked by clichés from the outset. The opening scene, which turns out to be a flashback sequence into the past of granny Cantone, couldn't be more kitsch: a beautiful, teary-eyed young bride runs up the steep staircase of a solitary stone house, where she confronts a man, his shirt unbuttoned at the neck, with a gun – first aimed at him, then pressed against her own chest. The man tries to wrangle the gun out of the bride's hand, at which point the film cuts to a shot of the house's exterior and the banging sound of a gun shot is heard.

    Things don't get better when, during a transitional phase of the film, Tommaso's gay friends from Rome show up for a surprise visit. Tommaso's parents convince them to stay overnight – cue camp homos who try to act straight but still can't help admire Alba's dress or flirt with Tommaso's brother-in-law. During a trip to the beach, the boys perform a silly coordinated dance before splashing each other with water. It's funny, but so predictable. At times, it's hard to tell whether all the typecasting and melodrama is done knowingly or is just crass.

    For a film exploring the themes of family obligations, tradition, clash of values, sexuality and love, you'd be better off watching Özpetek's Hamam: The Turkish Bath from 1997. Still, the graceful final scene of Loose Cannons, set to the melancholic tones of Turkish diva Sezen Aksu's 'Kutlama' (Celebration), is almost enough to redeem the conventional and clapped-out feel that colours most of the movie.
  • Ferzan Ozpetek's new film centers around a young man, Tommaso, who wants to step out of the family pasta making business and be a writer, he also wants to tell his family he's gay. When at a dinner party his brother announces he's gay, the father has a heart attack and leaves Tommaso at a loss. He is left to pick up the pieces whilst trying to deal with his own hidden truth, the attraction to him of a female colleague and his father's homophobia.

    The film has an array of characters, Tommaso's family, many of them also have hidden truths, some are revealed, some are not. Potentially this could lead to a intriguing film, but Loose Cannons struggle in many ways. Firstly the subject matter is played, for the most part, quite seriously. Yes, there is a funny side to the situation Tommaso finds himself him, but there is also a serious side, that his life as he wants it, is on hold again. But there are other serious overtones: his father's refusal to accept or understand his other son's sexuality, his grandmother dwells on her own past and lost opportunities and there is his colleague's longing for someone unattainable. There are some very touching, often moving moments in the film, as characters reveal aspects of their lives to some and withdraw from others. Yet part way in the film tries to lighten up with the introduction of Tommaso's gay friends. Unable to be openly gay they downplay their sexuality with some quite funny results, but it feels out of place. As Tommaso looks onto the life he and his friends could have, so we the viewer look on wondering whether we are watching a comedy or drama.

    Ozpetek presents this world beautifully, the film is shot well and looks great, but so does everything to the point that it all seems too perfect. All the characters are beautiful, stylish and middle class, living well and only through the aunt do we see any imperfections, which seem to be done for laughs. The perfection of the characters seems highly unrealistic, although perhaps one could say that despite the perfection on the outside, they have many imperfections within.

    The cast are all very good, the actress playing the grandmother, is marvelous and the film does present an interesting story. However, because it never seems to know where it's going and there is little in the way of conclusion to many elements this leads to, at times, a very frustrating film experience despite it's potential.

    More of my reviews at iheartfilms.weebly.com
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Italo-Turkish director Ferzan Ozpetek goes back to what he knows and does best: a"coming- out" comedy" about homosexuality and family values, full of memorable quirky characters, laugh out-loud moments mixed with bittersweet and poignant reflections. These are also the themes of one of my old favourite Ozpetek's film, the Ignorant Fairies (Le fate Ignoranti), made 10 years ago.

    It is all fairly watchable stuff and it sort of works as long as it's on the screen. However, any attempt of social comment or critique at any serious issue (the close mindedness of the South of Italy, and the way Italians like to appear which is more important than the way they are, among the others) quickly fades away and gets diluted in the pursuit of easy laughers and in the over-the-top, almost caricatural depictions of the characters. Of course, it is supposed be a comedy… but sadly that's all it is.

    The story is set in Lecce, a city in the heel of the Italian boot, in the deep south. and it focuses on the large Cantone family (so large that it took me a while to work out who was who). Tommaso, is about to come out to his parents. One night, at the dinner table, just when he's about to break the news to the family, his older brother, Antonio announces himself to everyone that he's gay. The father's refusal to accept or understand his older brother's sexuality gives him a heart attack and leaving Tommaso at the helm of the family pasta making business, whilst at the same time trying to deal with his own hidden truth (fearing that his father won't survive the news of both of his 2 sons being gay). There are a lot of other story lines, and the family is certainly large enough to offer several opportunities for sub-plots. Unfortunately most of the characters remain just superficial caricatures (the wise grandmother, the loony aunt, the apprehensive mother, the homophobic father, the girl in love with the gay man and so on…) and in the end the film falls into the same clichés the director is trying to ridicule in the film. In a way, there's nothing here we haven't seen before, (funnily enough even within Ozpetek's previous films too) but it's good to see the overshadowed-by-the-Vatican-Italy finally arriving there too.

    The film is handsomely filmed and the great looking, almost-perfect settings only seem to enhanced the imperfections of the family itself. The editing (and direction) both seem a bit too pleased with themselves: some scenes could have gained something by being trimmed a bit. Even the most emotional moments always seem to go on for a bit too much than it's needed (I'm thinking of the scenes around the tables, or more crucially – SPOILER COMING – the one where the grandmother decides to go for her cakes, or even the one at the beach. You get the point after a few seconds and yet both scenes go on and on and on). The same goes for the over-used music, both in terms of the actual score (which once again stresses the slapstick aspect of the film) and known songs, most of which seem rather random and a bit intrusive. Most of the acting is very good especially the woman grandmother (Ilaria Occhini) who seems to be the only one really sees what's happening within her family.

    In the end I am happy I saw this film, and I did enjoy it, but I'm still longing for the return of the real Commedia all'Italiana of the 50s and 60s (and to a degree the 70s too) which really provided a mirror of Italian customs and values, attacking prejudices and questioning the general thinking of elites and institutions in a much more subtle way. The sometimes dark and bleak vision of the society and the bittersweet laughers those films provoked, felt a lot less forced than they are in this film which is clearly trying to be bit more commercial. Still, we're probably heading towards the right direction.

    Review from: http://moviegeekblog.wordpress.com
  • Father and owner of a pasta making business, learns that his eldest son, predestined to take over the company, is gay. The latter is announced on a family party, and surprises everyone present. The father does not take it very well, and sends the son away packing.

    Peculiar is that the announcement is just a few minutes ahead of the second son, who was initially planning to announce his gayness at that same family event, but did not know of the plans of his brother. The second son refrains from same announcement, fearing that his father won't survive a double "disaster". He tries to take up his role as second-in-line son to become the future company owner. But his heart is with being a writer, and not in leading a pasta factory.

    Of course, the father does not see all this. He is too much occupied with "what people in the village may think". He is also mad at his family, that they did not forewarn him because "everyone can recognize gay people by their behavior".

    Several amusing story lines unfold. The family is large enough to offer many opportunities for sub-plots. It's a pity that most are not developed to their full potential. Even worse, some are rather unrealistic, like the gay friends of the second son staying for a few days.

    The grandmother seems to be the only one overseeing what happens within the family. Some of the time she throws some hints around, but most of those are not picked up. She is reluctant to really interfere. This is a great role. She is also the only one not adding to all the standard gay clichés that we see passing.

    In the final scene, the first son re-appears at a funeral where also the father is present. They even come close physically, both being involved in carrying the coffin. Whether they are about to get closer mentally, is left in the open. Given that the second son already has made clear being unhappy in his role as future company owner, this could provide for a chance to welcome the lost son. However, this story line (like several others) are left as an exercise for the viewer, so it seems.
  • Loose Cannons (Mine vaganti) is a beautiful movie about a young gay man in a large, loving and eccentric Southern Italian family. His plan to free himself from the family pasta business by coming out as gay misfires early in the movie, and the remaining ninety minutes cover how his dilemma is resolved.

    But this is far, far more than a coming-out movie. Themes of life and death and family and love and loss and immortality run like deep, rich rivers of life throughout the story; it is astonishing how much emotional ground is covered so effectively and gracefully in so little time. Each one of the dozen or so highly differentiated characters is fully and richly developed, and not one of them is short-changed or stereotyped.

    I bought Loose Cannons because I have loved the earlier works of Ferzan Ozpetec, particularly His Secret Life (Le fate ignoranti), Facing Windows (La finestra di fronte), Sacred Heart (Cuore sacro), and - most of all - Saturn in Opposition (Saturno contro), but Loose Cannons surpasses them all. Each of its predecessors had minor flaws and occasional weak moments, but Loose Cannons has none.

    As usual in his movies, photography, sets and music are highly original and perfectly fitted to the story: if it were a silent movie it would be beautiful just to look at; if it were a radio program it would be delightful just to listen to. This is the first of his movies to integrate a significant amount of comedy into his usually serious but highly imaginative dramas, and he does it expertly; I laughed out loud almost as often as I wept with delight.

    This movie is a masterpiece. I cannot imagine how a better movie could ever be made; but Ozpetec is young still, so I am confident he will do it somehow. I can say without any reservation at all that this is the best movie I have ever seen.
  • chrisjc124 April 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    Oh dear ! Don't be fooled - when I first saw a 60 second trailer for this movie, it gave the impression of a being feel-good, high-camp, celebration of gay life. (Mamma Mia meets the Bird Cage). I've just watched the main feature and nothing could be further from the truth. This is a melodrama full of angst and regret, with the portrayal of it's gay characters and reactions of their family members 30 years out of date. Mum to doctor about her son 'can he be cured and made normal again' - father disowning gay son and having heart-attack from the shock and shame brought on the family etc. When the posse of gay friends arrive from the big city, they too appear to be no more than a two-dimensional line up of Village People rejects. The film neither educates nor entertains - just reinforces reactions to stereotypes. Misguided. 2/10
  • Overall, not bad, but...

    There are two issues I had with the film. Number one: based on the trailer, I was anticipating a happy-clappy Italian comedy. Although the film has comedic moments, it is more a film about lost opportunities and regrets through to the very last scene. Comedy rarely comes into it, and by the end I was down-right depressed.

    Number two: was I right in assuming that the way that the main hub of the subject matter (a son's coming-out to his wealthy and successful family) was played out was out of step and out of date by a couple of decades? Certainly it is compared to English (and even! North American) films of the same ilk.

    Recently, I had a conversation with an Italian friend and questioned him on the perceptiveness of the Mine Vaganti screenplay. He confirmed that for southern Italy, the family's shock reaction was an accurate, expected and up-to-date portrayal - and wasn't the movie hilarious!

    I trust him on the accuracy of the portrayal. I still question the hilarity as I still believe there to be a lack there-of.

    However. With this new understanding of southern Italians in mind coupled with re-adjusted expectations of what kind of movie to expect, perhaps the film is worth a second look.
  • This was a great movie that may have tried to be a bit too complex for its own good.

    On the one hand, unlike so many movies that try to deal with the sexual-identity-and-family issues, this was not simply a black & white generational conflict between fairly one dimensional characters and it certainly does not eventually have a happily-ever-after resolution ... or any clear resolution at all. Of course, that might be considered part of its charm.

    All the characters, both central and peripheral, have surprising depth and can generate a certain amount of sympathy (or antipathy) and interest on the part of the viewer. Most everyone was believable, although there was some overacting, particularly on the part of the father.

    The problem was that there were a few too many characters dealing with a few too many problems and if you had to rely on following the English subtitles it was easy to get lost at times. I will definitely have to watch this at least once more to try to get a better understanding of the personalities who were not central to the main story line. That's not a problem since it was an enjoyable experience the first time and I expect that getting a better understanding of the subplots will make it all the more enjoyable. But I also expect that to some extent it may be too much of a good thing packed into too small a space. Some of the characters needed more time to develop and the ending of the film left a lot of issues unresolved and hanging ... I think.
  • exxes-115 July 2010
    I believe this is a true gift for art and cinema. Film is like a very expensive wine with an amazing taste which justifies it price. Its dramatic, its funny, its romantic and its gay. cinematography is just delicious. I believe Ferzan Ozpetek made another breakthrough film for European and world cinema.

    Film takes you to a magical world which is in fact very real. It lets you sink in your chair and enjoy cinema. Yet it has a full content, acting is amazing, script is marvelous. I certainly loved it yet Hammam stays my favorite Ozpetek film.

    He did try some non-gay movies, yet this is his talent and his brand. I am glad he made this come back. yet the move misses Serra Yilmaz, a no-no for Ozpetek films. she could have played the maid role.
  • On the evening before a big family dinner a guy is wrestling with his thoughts. He has three beans to spill and he's all too sure one of them will probably break his bond with his family. The thing is, he's gay and living in a world where that is, quite sadly, not perfectly acceptable. When the dinner starts his well worked out plans are disturbed and nothing will ever be the same again.

    And so starts a warm bitter sweet comedy that leans on life's little inability to live and let live, to accept the different as equal instead of casting them out. It's mostly comedy and features a bundle of good laughs. It has some hints of tragedy but the overall feel is a very positive one.

    The relations between the various characters are quite convoluted and some of the characters are a bit too much of a character instead of a person, but it works wonderfully.

    All added together, a joy to watch, over and over again.

    8 out of 10 family dinners disturbed
  • This movie takes place in Italy. And the actors from Italy. I watched that movie in a dubbed version (German). Probably a reason why this movie doesn't get a world wide release; that, and the topic the movie is about. It's about life and homosexuality, it's about friendship, and family. And this Italien family is a madhouse. Since the story takes place in Italy, one topic is the noodle-industry. A family enterprise, where the father wants his sons to continue his business. Then the madness of that movie starts and believe me, it's not going to stop until the very end...

    I was thoroughly entertained watching this movie. There were a lot of gags that worked, even a running gag... and in the middle of the movie, i nearly broke down laughing. The construction of the plot was so grotesque, but it worked, in a way, i simply cannot explain.

    Unfortunately i can't give away too much, since it'd be very spoilery. Just the kind of movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon...
  • This is another triumph by the brilliant Italian director of Turkish descent, Ferzan Ozpetek, whose SACRED HEART (2005, see my review) and FACING WINDOW (2003, see my review) were such spectacular cinematic masterpieces. In this complex ensemble film, much of which is comic and intensely satirical, human intolerance is examined with a microscope. The main focus is homophobia. The film is set in the Italian town of Lecce. The father in the film, who is the most extreme homophobe imaginable, has two unmarried sons in their late twenties or early thirties, both of whom he believes to be 'normal'. In fact, both are homosexual. One is just about to come out of the closet at a family dinner when his brother, who has been fore-warned of this, leaps up and comes out of the closet instead, thus diverting the father's inevitable wrath to himself and sparing his brother. So the one who confesses is expelled from the house (never darken my door again, you are not my son) and the family business (a huge pasta factory), while the other remains, conscience-stricken, not now daring to open his mouth about his own sexual inclinations. We are expected to believe that neither brother knew the other was gay. That works well for the story, though in real life I think it most unlikely! The film is a richly-textured tale with many characters, exploring the ironies, contradictions, insensitivities and over-sensitivities of our strange species with relentless humour, laughter, and despair. Once again, that compassionate and concerned observer of human tragedies and foibles, Ozpetek, pulls it off!
  • davidm9236 January 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    As with another writer, after seeing the trailer I anticipated an amusing comedy. Once again, the director of the Turkish Bath presents, to this decades long out gay man, a dispiriting, downer. The Birdcage, was funny. Weekend was brilliantly on target. But this seemingly endless, unpleasant film presents a situation set in maybe 1970, not 2000, and certainly not in modern urban Italy among an upper-class family.

    Worse, I failed to smile more than twice. The campy guys were completely unreal, the situation not amusing.

    Please excuse the tonality here, I'm considered a witty guy, and I love to laugh. But this unrealistic melodrama was banal and unappetizing.

    The "2" score is only because of the lovely moments provided by the actress playing the Grandmother. Otherwise, like the (IMHO) absurdly over-rated Frances Ha, this was a movie I hoped to adore but cringed throughout . Alas.
  • donwc199624 October 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    This brilliant film may just have the dumbest title in the history of the movies and I stayed away from it while it sat on a stack of incoming films from my old standby Amazon.com. Then quite by accident I picked it up and saw it was Italian and thought it couldn't be as dumb as the dumb title. Boy, was I in for a surprise! This film is not only absolutely brilliant but a masterpiece if there ever was one. I was totally knocked over by every aspect of this film, its deep humanity, its incredible beauty, everything about it. I even cried at the end and I never cry in movies. Perhaps it was because this film said something about the human condition that I have never seen in the movies. And what it said was that love cannot be confined to specific boxes that we all know and understand, that love is without boundaries and if we are smart we understand that and in fact can even explore those boundaries. At the very end when the male lead looks at the two loves in his life, one male, one female, it is made abundantly clear that he loves both of them equally and unconditionally. Wow! What a way to go!
  • lasttimeisaw8 November 2011
    Juxtaposing with other Ozpetek's films I have watched (chronically STEAM: THE Turkish BATH 1997, LAST HAREM 1999, THE IGNORANT FAIRIES 2001, FACING WINDOWS 2003, SATURN IN OPPOSITION 2007), this time Ozpetek is palpably much smoother and more effortless to deal with his gay-oriented hallmark, shunning from all the melancholy and narcissism most homosexual films shamelessly over-exploit.

    This film is struggling to overthrow FACING WINDOWS from the crown of my favorite Ozpetek's work (I do need a fresh re-watch of STEAM though). I do not dare to spoil anything here, one prominent astonishment comes at the near end, when the camera fluidly couples with different times, emanates a wonderful visual and spiritual poignancy which exactly one would love to experience from watching a decent film!

    The cast may not be perfectly splendid, but every character is worth of some acknowledge for its ensemble undertaking, in particular for Ilaria Occhini (the grandmother in the film), a royal poise exuding from her own dignity, which counter-balances the dramatic banality of the coming-out-of-the-closet plight (namely a shade abominable presence of Ennio Fantastichini). Our leading man Riccardo Scamarcio (from THREE STEPS OVER HEAVEN 2004) may be in lack of a certain gay temperament as the chemistry between him and an irresistibly alluring Nicole Grimaudo is way more tangible here.

    The comedy part in the film is somewhat showy but properly amusing; the intermittent interruption of grandma's marriage is adorably empathetic, also I cherish the balmy score (from Pasquale Catalano) and the moot ending which insinuates a positive perspective of the philosophy of our beings.

    The blatant snub of 2011 Davide di Donatello awards (only one nomination for BEST MUSIC) is atrociously staggering in my opinion, but it will not stop Ozpetek from coming to be among the most promising virtuoso in the contemporary Italian cinema.
  • jimmyglass27 February 2011
    Having recently seen Loose Cannons and Animal Kingdon it was great to see such strong matriarchal figures in both films. Women of a certain age giving unbelievable performances in rather different circumstances and very different moral situations. I was so impressed with the grandmother in Loose Cannons and how her personal experience of thwarted love was keenly developed in her grandchildren and her encouragement to be their own people, especially words after at her funeral spoken by her.

    The grandmother in Animal Kingdom had a very different situation and was trying equally hard to manage her mentally unwell children after her only 'healthy' son is gunned down.

    The difference was opening up the world for her family or closing down to only what you know, ie the criminal world of Melbourne in the 1980's Both tremendous films and awesome performances from all the crew in both films, but I guess my star goes to Guy Pearce as the good cop in Animal Kingdom
  • This is not a very good movie, but it's quite fun to watch. Loose Canons proves that commedia dell'Arte is alive and updated in its native country Italy. The types and the plots of this old comic drama form seems particularly suited to the Italian temperament, and the outbursts of passion, regret and rage among modern urban people very aware of their image and clothes fit this kind of entertainment very well. The patriarch of a pasta factory despairs when one of his sons and heirs reveals he is gay. The father has not a big problem with the gayness as such, but with the fact that the son wants to become "openly" gay. This is a comedy very much about not losing one's face. The movie is very fast paced in the beginning and the most important plot twist comes too early. The last third of the film is on the other hand lengthy and has too much of a message, though an unclear one. A high-light of the movie is a "lazzi" (a special feature of commedia dell'arte, a humorous interruption who has not much to do with the plot or the story telling) with four beautiful and "screaming queens" bathing in the sea.
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