A Quirky But Enjoyable Film
Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 08/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"IT'S EASIER FOR A CAMEL presents an interesting slice of life. As the film begins, we meet Frederica (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi), a young woman in her thirties who seeks the counsel of a priest. In her "confession" (she begins but never finishes and has about three subsequent visits to the church), we learn that she is wealthy, hence the title of the film--when Frederica tells the priest she feels guilty about her wealth, he quotes the famous Gospel passage about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for the wealthy to get into Heaven. We also learn she is unfulfilled, has two lovers, and hopes that a good spiritual cleansing will help her. We also learned what prompted her to seek reconciliation. Her father is about to die which reveals all sorts of questions about life.
Throughout the film we see flashbacks of her life, especially her childhood. Some are engaging such as games with her brother and sister while others bizarre. The most notable example would probably be her being kidnapped, befriending her kidnappers, and the whole gang joining the family for dinner and a sing-a-long of Communist themed songs. We see that she's a writer but has uneven success at it. We also see the family: her sister Bianca (Chiara Mastroianni) who is prone to turbulent mood swings, Aurelio (Lambert Wilson) who travels the world but is clueless about life, and the mother (Marysa Borini) who seems to be in personality an older version of Frederica. Aurelio's character may be extraneous. I also wished that the parents looked younger when the children were younger. We also meet the love interests Pierre (Jean Hugues Anglade), the man she's with, and Philippe (Denis Podalydes) the man she was with but still loves and cannot have.
In some ways the film starts off to be somewhat original with its beginning in a confessional setting and there are no magical conclusions or resolutions which make it real. However, the film does seem to jump and the flashbacks are not always logical or easy to understand why they're significant. Still, the overall story is enjoyable and it does do a good job at portraying human angst and emptiness without overkill.
"I too am a communist". On the guilt of being privileged
Cristiano Nisoli | Los Alamos NM, USA and Lombardy, Italy | 01/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Gifted italian actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi debuts in film directing and earns a well deserved award at the Tribeca's film festival. This bittersweet, oneiric, autobiographic comedy played in Paris with a few flashbacks in Italy depicts Valeria's struggle in fitting in the real world while trying to live a normal life among normal people, at the same time escaping the guilt of being a privileged child, heir of a ridiculously rich family. The working title "moi aussi je souis communiste" ("I too am a communist") explains well the situation. The movie runs through the last 10 days of her father's life, when all the knots in Valeria's life - economical, sentimental, affective - disentangles.
I found it witty, funny and enjoyable; at the end, I wanted to watch it again to unearth the many cinematic citations buried here and there. Valeria's mother role is actually played by her real mother. I wonder why her sister, former supermodel turned singer Carla Bruni Tedeschi (and now France first lady) has not interpreted herself as well. Perhaps she would have weighted in the film too much.
French and Italian with english subtitles."