Let us not make of it more than it is............
JUST A REVIEWER2 | 09/18/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
Let's not aggrandize this film; there is not a lot of substance going on here. A sad and youthful death, yes (why do all the pretty ones have to go first?)----and grieving and loss. But there's little to create an emotional attachment to these characters......even prior to the death.
This production is NOT a "Steam: The Turkish Bath" in that regard, or even an "His Secret Life," both of which got us more "involved." To this viewer, the most interesting point was before film's end, in the denoument between widower, Davide, and a come-to-acceptance and grieving, deceased's father.
At film's conclusion, there is a tying-up........a coming to terms. I wonder, though, is real life ever as smooth as pictured?
PS--Points for beautiful, beautiful photography work (are this man's films ever not?)
Stefano Accorsi---A Gift From God!
Tom O'Leary | Los Angeles, California | 09/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This delicate, moving and absorbing film continues director Ferzan
Ozpetek's growth as a great film artist. His movie STEAM possessed a
sweet sensuality that was potent and moving. His movie HIS SECRET LIFE
is a sexy little masterpiece. It is moving and funny. And, like I said,
With SATURN IN OPPOSITION, Ozpetek teams up again with the gorgeous
Italian actor Stefano Accorsi. This actor added sensuality to every
scene in HIS SECRET LIFE. Stefano continues to bring his amazing heat
to SATURN IN OPPOSITION.
This movie is an ensemble piece in every sense of the word. A group of friends are thrown into turmoil when the most beloved member of their group is struck down in his prime. How the friends and lovers and former lovers survive this tragedy is heartwarming and very moving.
If this movie does not get to you then you have no heart. Period."
Appreciating and Celebrating the Extended Family
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ferzan Ozpetek understands as well as any writer/director today the concept and attending importance of Extended Family. Much as he spoke about the importance of friends who are often more supportive than genetic family in his beautiful film HIS SECRET LIFE, he explores a similar topic in his latest exceptional film SATURNO CONTRO (SATURN IN OPPOSITION). Ozpetek and his co-writer Gianni Romoli have created a story about camaraderie, celebration, shared loss, consolation, and healing among a rather disparate group of Romans that manages to not only underscore our human needs, but also demonstrates how nearly insurmountable hurdles can be managed by the kindness and understanding of true friends.
Davide (Pierfrancesco Favino) is a much admired writer who lives with his artist partner Lorenzo (Luca Argentero) in a healthy, loving relationship. Davide has many admirers who wish to fall under his influence as a writer and Lorenzo likewise has many friends who are devoted to him. These friends gather at the home of Davide and Lorenzo for meals, parties and celebrations - a place where each of the friends finds compassion for whatever is nibbling away at their happiness. Davide's close friend Antonio (Stefano Accorsi) is married to the beautiful Angelica (Margherita Buy) who is writing a book about smoking and is not aware that her husband is having an affair with florist Laura (Isabella Ferrari) until a mutual friend, translator Neval (Serra Yilmaz) - caring for both friends' concerns - shares the information. The possible disastrous discovery is overshadowed by the sudden subarachnoid hemorrhage suffered by Lorenzo during a communal meal. Each of the friends' lives are halted while they gather at the hospital awaiting the inevitable death of their friend - each with open arms of support for Davide and each other as they find their way through dealing with the circle of life. The story places Lorenzo's tragedy near the beginning of the film: the resolution and coping of the large number of this extended family form the message and the sidebars that explore the sanctity of friendship and caring. There are myriad moments of rare beauty in this little film, moments that include the tenderness of Lorenzo's father's acceptance of Davide's relationship to his son as the funeral is passing, the wordless mending that the death of a friend brings to the dissolving marriage of Angelica and Antonio, and many others.
This is a beautifully photographed film (Gian Filippo Corticelli) and one with a musical score (Giovanni Pellino 'Neffa') that is so subtle that it supports without distraction (much like the presence of Extended Families!). The acting is of the highest quality from some of Italy's finest actors. We can only hope that Ferzan Ozpetek continues to create meaningful films such as this for a world that too often settles for finding solace as well as happiness from artificial sources outside the circle of human relationships. In Italian with subtitles. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, October 08"
Well-meaning, well-shot gay soap opera
Kardius | USA | 04/19/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I thought this was the least interesting and involving of Fernan Oztepek's films so far, certainly a much lesser work than Steam and Facing Windows. The film conveys an undoubtedly important message about the importance of extended families in gay male lives. However, I felt the film aimed to be such a gay/liberal crowd-pleaser that it failed to push any buttons or raise any real questions about family, friendships, or sexual identities and/or relationships.
It's not visually arresting or interesting either, despite being beautifully shot, with plenty of male eye candy (but no nudity, if you were looking for that). Also, despite the best efforts of a very good cast, I didn't find any of the characters well developed and particularly believable. They all felt like "types" (the loving gay couple, the older gay guy, the cheating husband, the professional woman, the troubled beauty, etc.) who didn't really interact as friends would, but more like idealized versions of how we wish friends would be like.
Despite all the shots of teary eyes and melodramatic moments aimed at making you cry, this film left me cold in most scenes. It's a pleasing, well-meaning film, but it's far from being great cinema, and it's much less interesting and engaging than Oztepek's earlier, far superior films."