3 October 2017 | Mozjoukine
Grim Italian drama
After Daniele Vicari's 2012 DIAZ - DON'T CLEAN UP THIS BLOOD! (title in English) I homed in on his new SOLE, CUORE, AMORE (Sun, Heart, Love) with some enthusiasm. While it has strong characterisations, convincing locations in the Ostia region and the significant subject of the working poor, I came away disappointed.
The film is unrelievedly grim and it is undermined by the forced device of cross cutting Isabella Ragonese's hard lot and the dance performances of her downstairs neighbour Eva Grieco, with their brass instrument accompaniment blaring on the track of both.
The admirable Ragonese is a mother of four who finds herself working as a waitress two hours away from her home, getting up at four thirty in the morning, catching an unreliable bus and train and being docked by boss Marzio Romano Falcione for late arrivals. One of the film's strengths is that both she and the film see his point of view.
The pressure on Ragonese mounts plausibly but not all that involvingly, piling grief upon grief. Throw in a lesbian shower scene and a little girl singing "Sole, cuore, amore" in the cafe.